Lobo freshman Amat goes low; UNM golfers stay in hunt - Albuquerque Journal

Lobo freshman Amat goes low; UNM golfers stay in hunt

A smile came to Bastien Amat’s face when the University of New Mexico freshman was indoors with the media, away from the wind and rain on the UNM Championship Golf Course on Tuesday afternoon.

The joy wasn’t about being dry, rather it was about taking a moment to realize that he shot the low round for the day, a personal-best 6-under-par 66 to match Oregon State senior Spencer Tibbits in the second round of the NCAA Regional at the UNM Championship south course.

Amat, the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year, expressed excitement that he put all of his game together – mostly his putting came through amid challenging conditions on the back nine.

His bogey-free round featured birdies on the 517-yard, par-4 No. 10; 579-yard, par-5 No. 14 and 544-yard par-5 No. 18 when the wind picked up considerably. Amat, who is from France, is tied for second, one shot from the leader Tibbits, who is at 9-under 135.

“It’s a very good field,” Amat said. “This is really rewarding of my hard work. I’m excited for the third round to see what I can do, to see if I can get the win. I’m trying to play the same way, the same as the practice round or any other round.”

UNM coach Glen Millican said that other than Bastien’s performance the Lobos “were a little bit sloppy,” and he felt they missed an opportunity to move up the team leaderboard with Bastien’s 66.

UNM is tied for sixth with San Diego at -5 after its second-round even-par 278 team score (the four best players’ scores of the five players on the team). Junior Sam Choi, ranked No. 23 in the nation, shot 2-over and is tied for 35th with teammate Matthew Watkins, who shot 75. Junior Brandon Shong shot 73 and is tied for 40th and sophomore Albert Boneta shot 74 and is tied for 53rd.

The five lowest-scoring teams and the lowest-scoring individual not on those teams advance to the NCAA Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, on May 28-June 2.

The Lobos, the Mountain West Conference champions, are three shots behind Texas A&M and South Carolina. UNM is one shot better than Stanford and two better than Oklahoma, which entered the regional as the overall No. 1 seed.

Oregon State, which entered as the No. 7 seed, leads at -20, five shots lower than Texas Tech (-15) and 8 lower than third-place Arizona State (-12).

New Mexico State, the Western Athletic Conference champion, is 12th, led by Garrison Smith, who is tied for 14th at 3-under 141.

“At some point we’re going to have to play a great round,” Millican said. “As a team we’ve played two scores that are decent. Those are average scores for playing out here. You’re probably not going to get through with three average rounds.”

Millican and Amat believe the Lobos can finish among the top five, as does Choi, who said the team set the goal before the regional to finish in the top three.

“Knowing that we can play this course very well and then we still have to count four scores, I think it’s very doable,” said Choi, who, just as Amat did, birdied No. 18. “We finished well and it keeps our momentum going. We’ll see. We’ll try to have fun (Wednesday).”

Three of Oregon State’s top four golfers, including Tibbits, Shawn Lu (tied for sixth) and Carson Berry (tied for 30th), played at UNM Championship course when the Pacific Coast Amateur Championship was here in 2019. Tibbits said that has helped the Beavers during the regional, where they led after the first round by two shots.

“I feel great about my round,” Tibbits said. “This year hasn’t been quite to what I would have liked. All my people in my inner circle just always told me to keep fighting and keep on grinding. … I’m trying to finish my college career out strong. I feel great (about the third round). I’m just going to go out and play, and whatever happens, happens.”

Team and individual leader board through two rounds

Wednesday: Third Round Tee Times

Home » Sports » Local Sports » Golf » Lobo freshman Amat goes low; UNM golfers stay in hunt

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

Talking Grammer, Ep. 48: UNM assistant Tarvish Felton
ABQnews Seeker
Episode 48 of the Talking Grammer ... Episode 48 of the Talking Grammer podcast is a conversation with recently-hired UNM Lobo hoops assistant Tarvish Felton.
Felton draws from past experiences in new role as ...
ABQnews Seeker
Assistant coach Tarvish Felton has plenty ... Assistant coach Tarvish Felton has plenty of experience in the Mountain West and hopes to help build the Lobos back into a winner.
Moon’s hit provides Lobos lesson
It's to be expected that a ... It's to be expected that a former-quarterback-turned coach would protect his QB regarding a key big play in a Mountain West game that UNLV ...
College players sweep pro tennis tourney at UNM
ABQnews Seeker
One day after two UNM Lobos ... One day after two UNM Lobos won the doubles title of Albuquerque's ITF 15K pro tennis tournament, a Texas Tech player won the singles ...
Lobo soccer unbeaten streak snapped
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The New ... COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The New Mexico women's soccer team had its five-game unbeaten streak come to an end with a 3-0 loss at ...
Favored Aggies suffer humbling loss to Florida International
(Las Cruces)  Fresh off its first ... (Las Cruces)  Fresh off its first win of the season, a 45-20 verdict a week ago over Hawaii, New Mexico State had to be ...
UNM duo wins pro doubles crown, then hits the ...
The UNM Lobo duo of Alex ... The UNM Lobo duo of Alex Maggs and Jan Pucalka and won the USTA Pro Circuit double championship Saturday on their home courts.
Fall sports roundup: UNM, New Mexico State volleyball lose ...
The University of New Mexico volleyball ... The University of New Mexico volleyball team has shown an ability to play from behind this season.
Lobos lose big lead, fall 31-20 to UNLV
The last time the University of ... The last time the University of New Mexico appeared in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a team, the Lobos had to adapt and survive in ...