The University of Colorado men's golf team rallied on Saturday, at one point pulling to within three strokes of the lead before settling for a tie for sixth place as the 63rd Annual New Mexico William H. Tucker Intercollegiate in Albuquerque, N.M. came to a close.
Brigham Young overtook second-round leader and No. 14-ranked Nevada-Las Vegas to capture the team title, as the Cougars finished with a 9-over 873 team score. That bested Washington (877) by four strokes with Arizona taking third at 878. UNLV dropped all the way to fourth after shooting one of the high rounds of the day, finishing six off the lead at 879; Colorado State rounded out the top five at 881.
Colorado entered the final round in ninth place and at one point was 8-under as a team before finishing with a 1-under 287, joining BYU as the only two schools to post a subpar team score Saturday on the 7,556 yard, par-72 UNM Championship Course layout. The Buffaloes wound up tied with host New Mexico and San Diego State for sixth with 20-over par 884 scores, and were the only team in the field Saturday to have four players shoot 73 or better.
"We are very pleased with the round today," CU head coach Roy Edwards said. "We got off to a good start and it was very calm for about 10-12 holes and then the wind started blowing hard from the south. The guys held it together really well as we finished on some very tough holes. Sixth place is really just an 'okay' finish, and we realize if we would have played a little better yesterday we would have had a chance to win the tournament."
Senior John Souza was the top performing Buff, as he tied for 11th with a 3-over 219 after wrapping up play with an even-par 72 Saturday. He led the entire field in par-3 scoring at 1-under, the only golfer to play all 12 "short ones" under par. His 12 birdies over three rounds tied for the third-most, as he also logged 28 pars against 13 bogeys and a double. After opening with a pair of bogeys on Nos. 8 and 9, he bounced back to play the next 10 holes at 4-under.
Senior Spencer Painton and sophomore Daniel O'Loughlin tied for 16th with 4-over 220 totals. Painton shot CU's low round of the day — a 2-under 70, which was also the sixth-best final round effort in the field, while O'Loughlin closed with an even-par 72. Painton's 38 pars tied for the third-most in the meet, while O'Loughlin's 37 tied for the seventh-most.