New Mexico, the No. 14 team in Golfweek’s preseason rankings, opened its fall season with a victory Monday at the Gopher Invitational, and Kent State senior Corey Conners became the first back-to-back winner of the event.
The Lobos, led by Gavin Green’s 5-under 208 total, were the only team to finish under par, posting a 4-under 848 total at Windsong Farm Golf Club in Independence, Minn., six shots ahead of runner-up Baylor. All four of Green’s teammates also finished in the top 25: Andrej Bevins (T-13), Joseph Abella (T-16), Victor Perez (T-19) and Sean Romero (T-24).
Kent State finished third at 5-over 857, followed by California, Golfweek’s preseason No. 1, in fourth place at 7-over 859. The Golden Bears were missing two starters – Michael Kim, the 2012-13 College Player of the Year, and NCAA regional champion Michael Weaver – who were playing for the U.S. team in the Walker Cup in New York. New Mexico also handed Cal one of its two losses in 13 stroke-play events last year.
Conners shot rounds of 71-66-69 to claim the individual title at 7-under 206, winning the event for the second consecutive year. He finished one shot ahead of Cal’s Brandon Hagy.