ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The University of New Mexico men's golf team made a four-shot improvement from its first to second rounds – and picked up four shots on the first-round leader – but is in second place at the 56th annual William H. Tucker Invitational at the UNM Championship Golf Course.
The Lobos, led by Sam Chavez's 2-under 70, shot a par 288 in Friday afternoon's second round, but is four shots behind the University of North Texas heading into today's final round.
New Mexico, which is 4 over, shot a 292 in Friday's morning round to trail San Diego State by a shot. But the Aztecs (7 over) slid to fourth place with a 292 in the afternoon.
Pepperdine is third at 6 over in the 16-team field, which includes UNM's "B" squad. The Lobo "B" team is in eighth place at 17 over. New Mexico State is ninth at 19 over.
Today's final round, a shotgun-format start, begins at 7:45 a.m.
"I'm very happy with the way our team played today," said Lobo coach Glen Millican. "When you have eight different scores (between UNM's two teams) counting over 36 holes, it would be easy to pick apart each round and find mistakes. But overall, I'm very happy with how the guys handled their two rounds. It was a solid 36 holes for us."
The Lobos' main squad is making a run at the title despite having just one player – Chavez, tied for ninth – in the top 10. But between the Lobos' two squads, they have five players in the top 25.
There are five players on each team and the top four scores each day count for that day's team total.
Chavez is 1 over for the event and is 11 shots behind leader Andrew Putnam (69-65 – 10-under) of Pepperdine.
North Texas teammates Carlos Ortiz (7 under) and Josh Jones (3 under) are in second and fourth individually. SDSU's Alex Kang is second at 4 under.
New Mexico's Ryan Barry, who is playing for the school's "B" squad, and NMSU's Joon Heui Lee are part of a five-way tie for ninth at 1-over 145.
The Lobos' Tom Carlson and John Catlin are both tied for 14th at 2 over.
The Lobos were ranked 43rd nationally this week by Saragin/Golfweek.