Joe Abella
Joe Abella
Lobo Golf Men Finish Tied for 10th at Augusta
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/06/2014

LOBO MEN’S GOLF - 3M Augusta Invitational

FINAL STANDINGS: 1 Central Florida 287-277-282=846, -18; 2 Texas 284-280-283=847, -17; 3. Virginia Tech 280-285-285=850, -14; 4. Illinois 288-281-283=852, -12; 5. Baylor 282-291-288=861, -3; T10 New Mexico 295-286-291=872, +8; T10 Tennessee 296-283-293=872, +10.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS: 1 Greg Eason, Central Florida 66-71-68=205, -11; 2 Scott Vincent, Virginia Tech 68-69-69=206, -10; 3 Kyle Jones, Baylor 68-71-68=207, -9; T4 Thomas Deltry, Illinois 71-68-69=208, -8; Toni Hakula, Texas 71-70-67=208, -8.

LOBO SCORES: T20 Victor Perez 70-74-73=217, +1; T31 Joe Abella 71-74-72=217, +1; T30 Gavin Green 76-69-74=219, +3; T55 Sam Saunders 78-70-76=222, +8; T63 Sean Romero 81-73-72=226, +12.

UP NEXT: Mountain West Championship, April 25-27, Tucson, Ariz.

In Augusta, Ga., the 21st-ranked University of New Mexico men’s golf team has shown spurts of being able to compete with any team in the country.

What the team has learned is that to play to the standards the 2012-13 Lobo team set is that it has to play well in just more than spurts.

UNM got off to a strong start in the final round of the 3M Augusta Invitational on Sunday, moving from 11th to eighth place early. But the Lobos lost that momentum and ended up in a tie for 10th place with Tennessee with an 8-over 872 for the tournament. The teams finished 28 strokes behind champion an ninth-ranked Central Florida, which finished at 18-under 846.

“We started on No. 10 and we played 10-18 better than we have all week,” coach Glen Millican said. “Gavin (Green) struggled on the back nine, shooting a 41, and that made a difference in our score.

“It wasn’t the type of round we were looking for, but that doesn’t have anything to do with what’s coming ahead.”

The Lobos, whose next event is the Mountain West Championship on April 25-27, shot a 3-over 291 during Sunday’s final round after being as many as 5 under early on.

UCF shot a 6-under 282 in Sunday’s final round to win the team event by one stroke over No. 18 Texas at the Forest Hills Golf Course. No. 15 Virginia Tech was third at 14-under 850 after posting a 3-under 285 on Sunday. No. 7 Illinois finished fourth at 12-under 852, followed by No. 29 Baylor at 3-under 861.

UCF’s Greg Eason made it a clean sweep for the Knights, winning the individual portion with an 11-under 205. He shot a 4-under 68 during the final round. Virginia Tech’s Scott Vincent was second, shooting a 3-under 69 Sunday to finish with a 10-under 206, and Baylor’s Kyle Jones finished third at 9-under 207.

Junior Victor Perez and sophomore Joseph Abella led the Lobos with 1-over 217 scores. Abella finished at even-par 72 while Perez shot a 1-over 73 on Sunday. The pair tied for 20th with a 1-over 217.

Green started his final round with an eagle and a birdle and was still 3-under at the turn but then shot 5 over on his final nine holes to finish at 3-over  219 (76-69-74) for a 30th-place tie.

Junior Sam Saunders shot a 4-over 76 Sunday to card a 8-over 224 at the event for a 55th-place tie. Junior Sean Romero shot his best round of the tournament Sunday, an even-par 72, to finish at 10-over 226.

“We’ve done everything we can to get them ready for the next couple of months,” Millican said. “They’ve had a good season. We had three full-time players from last year’s team graduate, and we’ve had four guys, really, that have come in and taken their place. We’ve had six golfers (including true freshman Andrej Bevins) who have finished in sixth place or better in an event.

“We have one of the best players in the country in Gavin, and we’ve got five other guys that can compete at the same level. We feel that we’re capable of competing with anybody in the country, as long as we can avoid the mistakes that come back to hurt you.”

Millican said he will accompany Green on a trip next week to Malaysia where Green will play in the Malaysian Open, near his hometown of Kuala Lumpur. Before then, he’d like to have a clear understanding of which five players the Lobos will take to Tucson for the MW Championship.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how they do when we get into conference play.”