Men's preview: No. 18 New Mexico
Monday, August 27, 2012
In preparation for the upcoming college season, Golfweek is breaking down the rosters of each of its preseason top 30 teams.
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18. New Mexico
2011-2012 Golfweek rank: 20
Go-to-guy: John Catlin
Season outlook: One stroke separated New Mexico from an NCAA Championship berth last season. It was a disappointing finish to a year that included 12 top 5s and a victory at the Lone Star Invitational.
However, the team's top five scorers from last season are back, giving the Lobos another crack at the NCAA finals.
Two of those five returnees are seniors John Catlin and James Erkenbeck, each of whom posted stroke averages under 72 in 2011-12. Catlin (71.83) notched eight top 10s, including a win at the Arizona Intercollegiate. Erkenbeck (71.9) posted six top 10s, and his tie for 12th at NCAA regionals led the team.
Head coach Glen Millican also relied heavily on three freshmen last season. Victor Perez (72.29), Gavin Green (73.64) and Sean Romero (74.64) played in a combined 39 tournaments, giving this year's Lobos an experienced lineup from top to bottom. It’s not likely Millican will need the freshmen contribution he received a year ago, but he still welcomes three new signees in Joseph Abella, Mitch Johnson and Matt Krutz.
New Mexico will have a similar look this season, but don’t be surprised if the results aren't similar. They should be better.