TUCSON — The University of New Mexico men’s golf team fell one stroke short — both as a team and individually, of host Arizona Tuesday in the Arizona Intercollegiate at Tucson Country Club.
In their spring season opener, the Lobos shot 34-under 830 over the three rounds to finish one shot behind the Wildcats and five ahead of No. 5 Arkansas in the 14-team field.
It was the third top-two finish for the Lobos in five events this school year. In the fall, New Mexico won the Wolf Pack Classic in Reno and was runner-up when it hosted the William H .Tucker Intercollegiate.
Sam Choi finished as the top Lobo, his 13-under 203 one stroke behind Arizona’s Christian Banke. UNM’s Brandon Stroke finished 12-under, tied for third.
Carson Herron was under par all three rounds, shooting 70-71-71 to tie for 21st at 4-under. Bastien Amat had a strong finish on Tuesday with a final round 67 to tie for 31st at 1-under, while Matthew Watkins rounded out the lineup at even par, tied for 34th. Ignacio Arcaya, playing as an individual, tied for sixth at 9-under with rounds of 67-70-70.
“This was a great event for us,” said head coach Glen Millican. “Having all six Lobos shoot even or better is impressive. To have three players in the top 10 is awesome and to play this well is a great way to start the spring season for our team.”
New Mexico State’s final score of 859 (-5) through the two-day, 54-hole tournament equaled or bettered the final team score of two top-40 teams. The Aggies finished tied for seventh-place among the 14-team field with 39th-ranked Duke (859, -5) and finished nine strokes better than 30th-ranked San Francisco (868, +4).
The top Aggie finisher was Garrison Smith at 5-under-par. He shot 69 in Tuesday’s final round to move up 10 spots to No. 14.
The Lobos return to action Feb. 19-21 with the John Burns Intercollegiate, on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. The Aggies are at the Border Olympics in Laredo, Texas, Feb. 14-15.