The Lobo men’s golf program kicks off the 2009-2010 season with another stellar field in the second-oldest tournament in the country — the 55th playing of the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate — today and Saturday at the University of New Mexico Championship Golf Course.
Also in the field of 17 teams are defending NCAA national champion Texas A&M. Air Force, Arizona, Baylor, BYU, Campell, Colorado, UNLV, New Mexico State, North Texas, Pepperdine, San Diego State, UTEP, UT-San Antonio, Utah and Wyoming.
The Tucker is a 54-hole tournament, with each participant playing two rounds today and a final round Saturday. The shotgun start is at 7:30 a.m. each day.
This year’s Tucker is an opportunity for the Lobos to build on last year’s success. New Mexico returns three of the five golfers who led last year’s squad back into the postseason and to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA West Regional.
The Lobos will count heavily on that trio — Nick Geyer, Tom Carlson and James Erkenbeck — heading into the new season.
Geyer, entering his senior season of eligibility, graduated cum laude with a degree in communications and a minor in management last spring with a 3.55 GPA. He finished the 2008-09 season with a 73.65 stroke average over 38 rounds and three top-20 finishes, including medaling at the National Invitation Tournament. Geyer played in all 13 of the Lobos’ varsity events last season.
Junior Tom Carlson played in 10 varsity events last season, every tourney of the spring calendar and wrapped up the season with a 74.17 stroke average over 23 varsity rounds. He had a pair of top-20 finishes, including a tie for ninth place at the Arizona Intercollegiate.
Sophomore James Erkenbeck finished last year’s campaign with a 72.78 stroke average — second best behind second-team PING All-American Steve Saunders. Erkenbeck was the first of the three Lobos to medal last season, winning the John Burns Intercollegiate after posting an 11-under 205 for 54 holes.
Carlson finished qualifying play for the Tucker in the top spot, followed by Geyer and Erkenbeck. Brandon Putnam and Travis Ross qualified for the No. 4 and 5 slots.
The invitational — won last year by UNLV with a second-place finish for the Lobos — is named in honor of English golf course architect and former University of New Mexico groundskeeper William H. Tucker.