April 14, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas – The fourth-ranked University of New Mexico men’s golf team is developing a bit of a frustrating trend.
The Lobos have played well in four of their last six rounds, spanning their last two tournaments. But the most important round – the third and final round –UNM has fallen short in each event.
New Mexico, tri-leader after 36 holes of the Morris Williams Intercollegiate, ballooned to a 14-over-par 298 during Sunday’s final round and dropped to a fifth-place finish during its regular-season finale at the University of Texas Golf Club.
“A tough back nine fur us today,” UNM coach Glen Millican said. “Overall, it was a good tournament for us for 45 holes. We needed to finish better to have a chance to win.”
UNM also led last week’s ASU Thunderbird Invitational after two rounds but dropped to fourth place after a 4-over 288 in the final round.
The Lobos (284-278-298=860) finished 8 over par Sunday, 12 strokes behind tournament winner, host and third-ranked Texas. The Longhorns shot a 2-over 286 and won the event with a 4-under 848 (289-273-286) by five strokes over No. 7 TCU (281-281-291=853).
UNM, Texas and TCU were tied at 6 under after 36 holes Saturday.
Millican said wind was a factor during the Lobos’ final round.
“An event like this gives our guys a good test of golf, and today we played in the wind,” he said. “Anytime we play in courses like this in these conditions, it makes our team better – whether we play well or not.”
Senior James Erkenbeck again played the most consistent golf among the Lobos over the two days. He shot a 3-over 73 Sunday to finish the tournament at even-par (71-68-74=213) and a tie for ninth place. He finished seven strokes behind tournament winner Finley Ewing IV of Texas Tech. Ewing was just one of two golfers to finish the final round in the 60s, shooting a 68 and winning with a 7-under 206 (69-69-68).
Senior Benjamin Bauch had the low round for UNM for the second straight round, shooting a 1-over 72 Sunday. Bauch (78-68-71=218) continued his strong recovery from a first-round 78 to finish in a tie for 27th place at 5 over.
Senior John Catlin and sophomore Gavin Green both struggled on the back nine of the final round, giving up four strokes to par each, and shot 5-over 76s. Catlin (70-71-76=217) ended up in a tie for 19th at 4 over par, and Green tied for 47th with a 10-over 223 (73-74-76).
Victor Perez had a forgettable final 18 holes for the second straight week. He shot a 9-over 80 to sink for a tie for 10th to a tie for 39th. Last week at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, Perez took himself out of contention with a final-round 82 (10 over).
Sophomore Sean Romero, competing as an individual, tied for 50th with a 1-over 72 Sunday for a 12-over 225 score. Romero (77-76-72) made up 10 spots on the leaderboard in the final round.
Millican remained positive about his team’s play heading into the postseason.
“Our guys still did a lot of good at this event,” he said, “and we now have some time to get ready for our postseason events.”
The Lobos are now off until they play in the Mountain West Championships in Tucson from May 3-5.