Crashing the Boards: Lobo Golf Men Rebound in Hawai'i
Feb. 22, 2013
In Kahuku, Hawai'i, rebounding is an art form not specific to the University of New Mexico men's and women's basketball teams.
The fourth-ranked Lobo men's golf team redeemed itself after a subpar second round at the John Burns Intercollegiate, shooting the second best round of the last 18 holes Friday to finish second among the 16 teams in the tournament.
UNM (287-303-287=877) shot 13 over par for the 54-hole, three-day event. The Lobos were 27 strokes behind top-ranked and runaway winner California (284-282-284=850). The Bears finished at 14 under.
"We knew we could bounce back and play well," coach Glen Millican said. "The weather was awful again today. I've never seen it rain the way it did the first eight holes, and then when the rain stopped, the wind kicked up again. But all our guys did a better job under the conditions."
Cal and UNM were the only teams in the 16-team tournament to shoot rounds under par. The Bears did it all three days; the Lobos did it twice.
Brigham Young shot 19 over (292-290-301=883) and rallied late to move past Arizona (292-301-294=887). No. 25 Texas A&M (294-295-299=887) tied the Wildcats for fourth at 23 over.
"After yesterday, we probably did as well as you can do," Millican said. "It was unrealistic to think we were going to catch Cal, but we caught BYU and Texas A&M. Our whole team - the one thing they do is fight all 18 holes."
UNM lost sight of California during the second round on Thursday when confusion over a hazard and the Lobos' struggles helped the Bears shoot 21 strokes better than UNM. Lobo sophomore Victor Perez incurred a three-stroke penalty on the 12th hole that day and senior Benjamin Bauch's round was disqualified.
The duo indeed rebounded during Friday's final round on the Arnold Palmer Course at Turtle Bay Resort. Perez shot a 2-under 70, and Bauch finished with an even-par 72.
"That was a tremendous turnaround by both those guys," Millican said. "One of the marks of an experienced team is being able to stop the bleeding. Coming back from adversity or a poor round just adds to that experience that we'll benefit from."
Senior James Erkenbeck also shot even-par during the final round and finished tied for ninth at 5 over (73-76-72=221).
Sophomore Gavin Green shot a 1-over 73 and had the highest finish among the Lobos - a tie for fifth at 1 over (68-76-72=216). He was 13 strokes behind the tournament's individual winner, Joel Stalter of California (67-70-67=204).
Perez (75-77-70=222) tied for 14th at 6 over. Perez would've tied for eighth had he not incurred the three-stroke penalty during Thursday's round. Senior John Catlin (73-74-76=223) tied for 17th at 7 over.
Bauch's individual score was disqualified. Sophomore Sean Romero was the highest finisher among players competing as individuals, shooting 78-74-76=228 for a 12-over scorecard.
The Lobos now have two wins and three runner-up finishes in their last five events. Millican will give the team a break from golf until Wednesday, when the team begins to get ready for the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in Las Vegas, Nev., from March 7-10.