The men's golf team opened their fall season with a 3rd place finish at the Farmers Insurance Samuel Proal Invitational in Pueblo, Colorado. The event was hosted by Colorado State University-Pueblo, an NCAA Division 2 University. The Tbirds held their own against a competitive field that included mostly 4-year universities, finishing just 8 shots back of tournament champion CSU-Pueblo. As a team the Thunderbirds shot rounds of 293 (+5), 293 (+5) and 286 (-2). The Tbirds 3rd round 286 was the low team score of the final day, vaulting them into a tie for 3rd place.
Freshman Andrew Ni (Scotland) led the Tbirds individually with rounds of 69 (-3), 69 (-3), 72 (E), which earned him 3rd place overall in the tournament. Ni was tied for the lead following the first two rounds with former NMJC Thunderbird Fraser Hughes (now with CSU-Pueblo). Hughes went on to win the tournament, finishing 2 shots in front of Ni. NMJC sophomore Ryan Cox (England) also finsihed in the top 5 individually with rounds of 76 (+4), 70 (-2), 68 (-4). Cox picked up where he left off last season, where he earned NJCAA All-District honors and was nominated for the Jack Nicklaus Award.
Three other freshmen competing in the top five for NMJC included Zhane Chan (Malyasia), who opened his career as a Thunderbird finishing 19th overall with rounds of 72 (E), 77 (+5), 74 (+2). Harvey Hill (England) finsihed 27th with rounds of 77 (+5), 77 (+5), 73 (+1), and Jack Waymark finished 30th firing rounds of 76 (+4), 79 (+7), 73 (+1). Sophomore Preston Ewing and Freshman Tyler Cox competed individually for NMJC finishing 48th and 49th, respectively. Ewing fired rounds of 83 (+11), 82 (+10), 76 (+4) and Cox finsihed with rounds of 77 (+5), 83 (+11), 82 (+10).
Head coach James Berry was pleased with his team's performance. "I thought the guys did very well considering this was the first college event for most of my players. Traveling 8 hours in the van then playing 72 holes in 3 days is a different kind of golf experience and they handled it well. We'll take a couple days off then begin the process for our next event in Ruidoso, NM at the end of the month".
The Tbirds next event is the High Country Shootout in Ruidoso, NM September 23rd-25th.