Machtaler's 64 boosts Cougars

TEMPE, Ariz. -- True Freshman Greg Machtaler's carded a tournament best 64 in the second round to lead the Cougars to nineth place after the first day of 30th annual ASU Thunderbird/SAVANE Invitational.

Machtaler started the day shooting two-under-par (70) in the first round and then made six birdies and an eagle to finish the day 10-under-par and in fifth place individually.

"My short game was as good as it has ever been," Machtaler said. "I was able to hit it close to the cup all day and my putting was really, really good. I must have drained six or seven putts from 10-15 feet out for birdie.

Machtaler, coming off a top-25 finish at the Morris Williams Invitational, also chipped in on par five hole No. 10 from 25 feet out to help earn him a career and 2002 BYU team best 64.

Thanks to below-par first rounds by Machtaler, Devin Heid and Manuel Merizalde, the Cougars were in a tie for second place behind red-hot Texas. BYU was nine-under par before shooting one-under in the second 18 holes.

"It's nice to be under par as a two both rounds," Brockbank said. "Those are some great scores and I think we are starting to build some team confidence. I like the fact that we're building momentum heading into the important part of our season."

In only his second tournament of the season, sophomore Devin Heid started out with a five-under 67 to lead the Cougars in the first round. Heid sits in a tie for 26th after a second-round two-over-par.

BYU also benefited from a resurgent Manuel Merizalde who is two-under-par after the first two rounds.

"It's nice to see Manuel Merizalde playing well again," Brockbank said. "We really need him to finish off his senior season well."

The Cougars, who have captured six Thunderbird Invitational championships in the past, will play the final 36 on Saturday at the ASU Karsten Golf Course (par-72, 7,037 yards). Texas leads the field by 11 strokes and the Cougars by 29. BYU will looks to make up ground on the rest of the field in a tightly-contest fight for second place.

TEAM STANDINGS

1 Texas, Univ. of 271 276 547 -29

2 Arizona State U. 279 279 558 -18

3 New Mexico, U. of 281 280 561 -15

Oklahoma State U. 285 276 561 -15

5 Pepperdine Univ. 287 275 562 -14

6 Arizona, U. of 282 281 563 -13

Oregon, U. of 283 280 563 -13

8 TCU 283 282 565 -11

9 Brigham Young Univ. 279 287 566 -10

10 Southern California 280 287 567 -9

11 UCLA 287 283 570 -6

12 Oklahoma, U. of 290 281 571 -5

13 Arizona State Maroon 283 290 573 -3

14 Stanford University 291 290 581 +5

Washington, U. of 296 285 581 +5

16 Houston, Univ. of 299 293 592 +16

INDIVIDUAL BYU SCORES

9th Place Brigham Young Univ. 279 287 566

T 5 Greg Machtaler 70 64 134

T 26 Devin Heid 67 74 141

T 31 Manuel Merizalde 70 72 142

T 71 Kyle Wight 72 77 149

T 76 Ron Harvey, Jr. 72 78 150

TOP 20 INDIVIDUAL SCORES

Fin. Name School Scores

1 Pat Moore Arizona St 67 64 131 -13

2 Chris Carnahan Oregon 68 64 132 -12

3 John Klauk Texas 67 66 133 -11

Bret Guetz TCU 68 65 133 -11

5 Scott Hailes New Mexico 68 66 134 -10

Greg Machtaler BYU 70 64 134 -10

7 Par Nilsson Okla. St. 70 65 135 -9

8 Cody Freeman Oklahoma 70 68 138 -6

J.J. Wall Texas 68 70 138 -6

*Scott Oxandaboure USC 69 69 138 -6

11 Jason Allred Pepperdine 73 66 139 -5

Ricky Barnes Arizona 70 69 139 -5

Jesse Mueller Arizona St 69 70 139 -5

Ben Hayes USC 69 70 139 -5

Jason Hartwick Texas 67 72 139 -5

Andy Connell Arizona 69 70 139 -5

17 John Merrick UCLA 71 69 140 -4

Chris Nallen Arizona 70 70 140 -4

Hunter Mahan Okla. St. 68 72 140 -4

Jim Seki Stanford 70 70 140 -4

Randy Creighton Pepperdine 73 67 140 -4

Rusty Kennedy Texas 72 68 140 -4

David Oh USC 69 71 140 -4

Steve Conway UCLA 72 68 140 -4

Michael Putnam Pepperdine 69 71 140 -4

26 Wil Collins New Mexico 70 71 141 -3

Parker McLachlin UCLA 72 69 141 -3

Adam Rubinson TCU 73 68 141 -3

Scott Ferguson Houston 68 73 141 -3

Devin Heid BYU 67 74 141 -3