New Mexico Lobos at 2014 Mountain West Men’s Golf Championship
Where: Catalina Course at Omni Tucson National Resort – Tucson, Ariz.
First-Round Team Results: 1. New Mexico 5-under 279. 2. UNLV 4-under 280. 3. San Diego State 3-under 281. 4. Air Force 3-over 287. 5. Wyoming 6-over 290. T6 Colorado State, San Jose State 8-over 292. 8. Boise State 9-over 293. 9. Nevada 12-over 296. 10 Utah State 14-over 298. 11. Fresno State 23-over 307.
First-Round Individual Leaders: 1. Carl Johnson, UNLV, 5-under 66. 2. Riccardo Michelini, San Diego State, 3-under 68. T3 Andrej Bevins, UNM and Kamrin Allen, Wyoming, 2-under 69. T5 Gavin Green, UNM; Ricky DeSantis, San Diego State; Kurt Kitayama, UNLV, Victor Perez, UNM, Sam Saunders, UNM, Kyle Westmoreland, Air Force, 1-under 70.
Also: T16. Sean Romero, UNM, 1-over 72.
Mountain West Tournament Central: Click here
Live Scoring: GolfStat.com.
By Greg Archuleta
UNM Assistant Director of Communication
The 22nd-ranked University of New Mexico men’s golf team practiced what coach Glen Millican preached during the first round of the Mountain West Championship.
True freshman Andrej Bevins shot a 2-under 69 for a fourth-place start, and the Lobos hold a one stroke lead over UNLV after shooting a 5-under 279 on the Catalina Course at the Omni Tucson National Resort on Friday.
Four Lobos are in the top five, and eight of the 11 MW teams are within 13 strokes of the lead.
“They really did a good job of what the golf course gave them today,” UNM coach Glen Millican said. “It was a great round of golf. The best thing for us is when you have five guys that can score, and that’s what we did.
“Now, we have to go out and do it again, tomorrow.”
Bevins, a true freshman who official shared the individual championship with teammate Gavin Green at the UNM-hosted William H. Tucker Intercollegiate in September, had five birdies and three bogeys during his round.
His finish was especially encouraging after he spent much of the spring playing on fire for the first nine holes, only to give most of those strokes away during the latter nine.
“It was to see him keep his round,” Millican said. “That was really important for us.”
Bevins is tied for third place and trails UNLV’s Carl Johnson by three strokes. Johnson shot a 5-under 66 to pace the 28th-ranked Rebels. No. 35 San Diego State is third at 3 under, followed by Air Force (287, 3 over) and Wyoming (6-over 290).
The Aztecs’ Riccardo Michelini is second with a 3-under 68.
Lobo juniors Gavin Green, Victor Perez and Sam Saunders all are tied with three others for fifth after shooting 1-under 70 on Friday. Green eagled the par-5 15th to get as low as 2 under before giving a stroke back on No. 18.
“That par-5 is one of the holes a guy like Gavin can take advantage of being a long hitter,” Millican said. “He hit a 5-wood from 288 yards out with his second shot and got the putt to within 40 feet and made a real nice putt for eagle.”
Perez was 2 over after his first three holes but shot three birdies the rest of the way. Sanders also was solid with three birdies and two bogeys.
The team was so consistent that it didn’t have to factor in junior Sean Romero’s 1-over round of 72 that included an eagle on the par-5 10th. And Romero sits in a tie for 16th among the 55 competitors in the field.
The only team among the 11 schools competing that likely shot its way out of contention is Fresno State, whose first-round 307 trails New Mexico by 28 strokes.
“There’s still two rounds of golf to be played, so anything can happen,” Millican said. “The course is predicted to play a lot different tomorrow because the wind is supposed to pick up, and we’re in the last group to tee off. We have to be ready to adjust.”
Millican said the conditions will require more patience from the Lobos, but he said the team already has been in that situation several times this season.
“And it helps that all our guys have played the golf course in tournament conditions. It’d be nice for us to perform tomorrow like we did today.