In the spring of 2006, New Mexico won its third consecutive Mountain West Conference title. Since then, however, the Lobos have not made their way into the league’s victory lane.
That could change this spring. In fact, based on this past fall, New Mexico will be the team to beat when the nine conference teams gather together to determine the 2013 conference champion the first week in May at the Omni Tucson (Ariz.) National Resort.
You can bet the likes of UNLV, two-time defending champion San Diego State and Colorado State will have plenty of input toward the final outcome and could walk away with the championship hardware. Still, if the Lobos continue what they started in the fall, they will be the ones with the bullseye on their backs.
And rightfully so. The Lobos finished the fall season No. 4 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. Next closest among MWC teams is UNLV at No. 40, followed by San Diego State (58) and Colorado State (60).
New Mexico won its own Tucker Invitational, placed second at Isleworth and tied for second at Royal Oaks to go along with its previous fifth place at the Gopher Invitational and seventh at the Ping/Golfweek Preview.
“We played well against some very good teams in the fall and that’s what we’re going to have to continue doing in the spring,” said New Mexico coach Glen Millican. “I think after what happened in the fall, our guys are going to come back from the break and again be highly motivated for the spring.
“Our goal is to go out and play the best we can play in every tournament,” Millican said. “I know we can do it and I feel the players know they can do it. We have a very good spring schedule and will continue to face some of the best teams in the country so we know we have a challenge ahead of us.”
Heading into the spring season, New Mexico boasts four players in the top 100 of the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings — senior James Erkenbeck (29), sophomore Gavin Green (36), sophomore Victor Perez (65) and senior Benjamin Bauch (87). Close behind is senior John Catlin (108).
“We have a good mix of young and veteran players this season as well as some very good depth,” Millican said. “All of them have had some measure of success and that shows in the success we’ve had as a team. It’s a good mix and a great group of young men.”
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Where it stands now
Top of the class: New Mexico
Best player this fall: Kevin Penner, UNLV
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2008: Colorado State
2010: Colorado State
2011: San Diego State
2012: San Diego State
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