TUCSON – Junior Gavin Green fed off the pressure, leading the 22nd-ranked New Mexico men’s golf team to its second straight Mountain West Conference Championship victory Sunday.
Green took medalist honors with his third playoff win of the season. He shot a 1-under 70 to tie San Diego State’s Riccardo Michelini at 4 under to force a playoff. Green (70-69-70 – 209) finished third in the 2013 MWC Championship.
“This is really special,” Green said. “To win with two different group of guys, it feels awesome to win two years in a row. I feel like this team is close to last year’s team (which finished fifth in the NCAA Championship).”
The championship is the Lobos’ sixth under 13th-year coach Glen Millican and extends the school’s MWC record. It is also UNM’s 23rd conference championship overall since its inception in 1947.
“This is such a tough conference that you’re going to have to earn it,” Millican said. “We got down by four shots, but we did a great job righting the ship and playing well down the stretch. I couldn’t be more proud of the guys.”
UNM shot a 2-over 286 on Sunday to withstand charges by second-place San Diego State and third-place UNLV. The Lobos (279-281-286 – 846) finished three strokes ahead of the Aztecs, who shot a 5-under 279 for a 54-hole 849 at the Omni Tucson National Catalina Course.
Green has three wins this season, all of them coming in a playoff.
“I don’t know what it is about me and playoffs,” Green said. “Even in high school, I played in a lot of playoffs and was able to have success. I just approach it like it’s match play, and I just feel comfortable if I have to go to a playoff.”
Junior Sean Romero came up huge for the Lobos on Sunday with a 2-under 69 in the final round to finish tied for seventh place at even-par 213 (72-72-69).
Junior Victor Perez shot a 2-over 73 on Sunday to finish at 1-over 212 (70-69-73) and a tie for fifth place. Junior Sam Saunders had a 3-over 74 to go 2-over 215 (70-71-74) and tie for 10th.
The Lobos now await today’s announcement of their NCAA Regional destination.