Lobo Golf Men Retain 2nd at MW Championships
May 5, 2012
In Tucson, Ariz., the University of New Mexico men's golf team experienced the quick fluctuations in team golf and what looked to be a great day slid back to just a very good day during the second round of the Mountain West Championship on Saturday.
The 16th-ranked Lobos had the lead over No. 15 San Diego State on the back nine and were tied with the Aztecs going into the last two holes. UNM played the last two at 4-over, the Aztecs at 1-under, and New Mexico again is looking up at SDSU going into today's final round.
UNM shot a 2-under-par 282 to complete 36 holes at 5-under 563 and hang on to second place in the eight-team tournament. The Lobos trail the Aztecs by five strokes; SDSU posted a 6-under 278 and stands at 10-under 558 after two rounds.
"The big difference was that San Diego State had a couple of guys get pretty hot, and we gave up a couple of shots on the finishing holes," coach Glen Millican said. "But we're right there in the thick of it; we're fine."
Surprising Colorado State is third at 1-under 567 after posting a 1-under 283 on Saturday. TCU shot a 2-over 286 and is in fourth place at even-par 568. No. 14 UNLV is fifth at 1-over 569 after an even-par 284 for its second 18 holes.
UNM junior James Erkenbeck, who entered the tournament with a sore left wrist, shot a 3-under 68 on Saturday and now shares the team lead with freshman Gavin Green. Both are at 2-under 140 - Erkenbeck shot 72-68 for the first two rounds, and Green 70-70 - and tied for eighth place. Green double-bogeyed No. 18 to fall out of a tie for third place.
"Both James and Gavin played a good round," Millican said. "I know Gavin gave a couple back there on the last hole, but he still had a solid day."
SDSU's top two, Alex Kang and Tom Berry, are tied for the individual lead at 5-under 167. Berry shot a 4-under 67 Saturday to pull even with Kang, whose 67 came Friday. Both players played the back nine Saturday at 4-under to rally the Aztecs back into the lead.
CSU's top two - first-round leader Zahkai Brown and Kirby Pettitt - and TCU's Julien Brun and Johan de Beer all are tied for third at 4-under 138.
Lobo freshmen Victor Perez and Sean Romero both shot 1-over 72s and are even for the tournament at 142. They are tied for 11th heading into today's final round. Perez, who had a bogey-free 70 on Friday, had four bogeys on Saturday, including Nos. 17 and 18.
Junior John Catlin is tied for 19th after his 3-over 74 left him 3 over for the tournament.
"We've been in this position a few times before this season," Millican, "and we've usually responded well. Obviously, we need to have a great round Sunday and get a few more putts to fall, but we have a great opportunity ahead of us."
The Lobos, in sixth place a year ago at 7-over 575, are trying to capture their first conference title in six years. The 2006 trophy was the last of a four-year run by Millican's Lobos.
UNM again will play with SDSU in today's final round. Catlin will be the first Lobo on the course at 10 a.m., Mountain Time.