Wolves in pursuit of the Tucker golf title

UNM Assistant Coach Sean Carlon (right) watches Matthew Watkins (left) and UNM’s Brandon Shong line up their shots during the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate at the UNM Championship Golf Course. (Mike Sandoval/For the newspaper)

Albert Boneta, a golfer at the University of New Mexico, missed most of last season with a mysterious injury to his right wrist.

But any lingering rust from his absence from the course was hard to see as he shot a 7-under 65 in Friday’s second round of the William H. Tucker tournament at the UNM Championship Golf Course.

Along with his par 72 in the day’s opening round, Boneta is tied with TCU’s Aymeric Laussot, both one stroke behind UNLV individual leader Caden Fioroni, who was 67-69 for 8-under-136.

“I couldn’t play for eight months,” Boneta said. “This is my third post-injury tournament. Watching everyone play and stay at home and not be able to do anything but play shots was pretty boring and frustrating.”

As for his illness, well, “that’s a good question,” said the veteran from Barcelona, ​​Spain. “We’re still trying to figure that out.”

There’s no doubt that he lit up the course in the afternoon, playing bogey-free golf with five birdies and an eagle for 575 yards, par-5 #14.

“Albert, he’s a great player,” said Lobos coach Glen Millican. “He showed in the time he was here that he can be as good as anyone in the country. He’s had some time off because he was injured last year so it’s good to see him play again. ”

Buoyed by Boneta and Brandon Shong, who hit 5-under 67 in the afternoon, the Wolves moved into second place overall with 12-under 564, five strokes behind leaders San Diego State.

Brandon Shong starts during Friday’s second round. (Mike Sandoval/For the newspaper)

New Mexico State is tied for eighth at 10-over 586.

“Albert shooting seven under makes you go really fast, and Brandon played really well,” Millican said. “Having a 7 and a 5 in the same round is great. Obviously we make fewer mistakes as a team, but it’s two different courses in the morning and in the afternoon. They just did a good job of staying there.”

With tournaments in the shotgun format, UNM started mid-course, which makes things a little more difficult, he said.

“We started on some of the toughest holes in this tournament, so you can get off to a slow start if you don’t play very well. We just had to hang on and wait for the scoring field part to come in and they did a good job of it.”

For Shong, his entire day was based around making up for an uncharacteristically quadruple-bogey 8 in the morning at number 2. So finishing that round just 2-over was a feat in itself.

“This afternoon, my tee shots were better,” he said. “In the morning I was very rebellious. This tournament is very important. It’s our home tournament so you want to do well and give yourself a good chance and put on a good show for the fans.”

The Aggies’ Garrison Smith put on a good show as his 3 under 141 leaves him tied for 11th with Shong.

His afternoon round included eagles on the 15th and 18th as he managed to drain heavily on each green.

“That was a lot of fun,” he said. “That kept my pace. I wasn’t over par for very long (Friday), which always makes golf more fun. I dug deep and luckily made some good shots and some good chips and had a positive attitude throughout the day and I credit that to my success on the course.”

(Click here for individual scores, here for team scores.)

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