It was a perfect day for a round of golf.
Unfortunately, the 16 teams competing at the 62nd-annual William H. Tucker Intercollegiate men’s tournament had to play two rounds Friday – the event’s opening day.
The host New Mexico Lobos – led by junior Andre Garcia – made a strong showing during gorgeous weather Friday morning. Then the wind and cold blasted the UNM Championship Golf Course in the late afternoon – and pounded the field before dissipating again.
After the 36-hole, nearly 12-hour day, the Lobos (282-301-583) stood in third place at 7-over and 10 shots behind first place San Diego State (280-293-573).
Colorado State (287-294-581) is second at 5-over, and Brigham Young is fourth (289-295-584) at 8-over in the 16-team field.
New Mexico State (303-315-618) is last at 42 over.
“The conditions changed a lot during the day, and we were on some tough holes when the wind was really blowing,” said UNM coach Glen Millican. “But there were other teams on the same holes at the same time, so you can’t use that as an excuse.
“We did a good job in the morning, definitely got beat up during that stretch in the wind, then got some of them back. But I think we’ve got guys putting too much pressure on themselves at different times.”
Despite playing at home, no team seemed to be hampered by the conditions as much as UNM. Garcia had the individual lead after Round 1 with a 6-under-par 66 and the Lobos shot 4-under and were in second place, just two back of the Aztecs.
But New Mexico blew up in parts of the second round, falling all the way to sixth place at one time before the wind finished its job around 5 p.m.
The final round is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. today and will have a shotgun start, meaning all players tee off at the same time on different holes.
Individually, San Diego State’s PJ Samiere (69-71), CSU’s Blake Cannon (71-69) and BYU’s Rhett Rasmussen (69-71) are tied for first at 4-under 140.
Garcia is in a three-way tie for fifth at 1-under.
“It wasn’t hard to keep mentally focused, but it was just physically hard to play when it was blowing 35 miles per hour,” said Garcia, who said the 66 is his career low at UNM. “You just couldn’t control shots. But I feel confident going into the final round.”
With puffy, red cheeks after Round 2, UNM sophomore Sean Carlon looked more like he had just gone 12 rounds in a ring instead of two on a course. But Carlon hung tough with scores of 71-73 and is tied for eighth and just four off the individual lead.
“I’ve never played in conditions that changed that much, and changed so suddenly,” Carlon said. “It was just perfect in the morning, and nice early in the second round. Then it just got so windy and cold in the span of about 15 minutes. But it’s a good experience to play on a day like that. I’ve struggled with adverse weather before.
“You’ve just got to be patient, because bogeys are going to happen in conditions like that.”
Click here for team standings.
Click here for individual standings.