Zac Blair birdied six of his last nine holes Saturday to finish the round at seven under and claim his first-career individual championship. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- Zac Blair shot a final-round 65 (-7) to capture his first-career individual title by one stroke at the PING Cougar Classic Saturday.
After finishing day one tied for fourth place at 4-under-par, Blair birdied six of his last nine holes in round three, for a tournament-low 65 and the championship. Over the final 18 holes he carded eight birdies and just one bogey.
Blair has finished in the top-5 the last two tournaments and has seven top-20 finishes during the 2010-11 season.
"Zac is just a gamer," said BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank. "He competes and he has carried us all year."
Despite improving by 11 strokes from round two to round three, the Cougars could not gain enough ground to move within reach of team champion Colorado State. BYU shot a 9-under 279 on the final day.
Cameron Edens bested a second-round 71 (-1) by sinking six birdies in round three and carding a 3-under 69. After finishing day one tied for 40th, Edens grabbed a share of 16th place overall, his second-consecutive top-20 finish.
In his final Cougar Classic, senior Esteban Calisto finished tied for 19th with a 217 (+1) tournament total. Calisto was followed closely by teammate Alton Anderson, who tied for 32nd after a third-round 77 gave him a tournament total of 219 (+3).
Adam Tebbs and Cole Ogden tied for 62nd and 68th respectively, after final rounds of 75 (+3) and 73 (+1).
Daniel Reid and Justin Keiley finished tied for 87th. Reid improved on a second-round 77 (+5) with a final-round 71 (-1), while Keiley shot a third-round 77 (+5).
Other in-state institutions Utah, Weber State, Utah State and Southern Utah also competed in this year's Cougar Classic. Utah, who finished seventh, was led by Jeff Kitches, who tied for 15th (216 E). Weber State and Utah State tied for 13th and 15th respectively. Nick Despain led Weber State by tying for 11th (215 -1) while the Aggies were led by Tyson McFarland, who joined Despain in a tie for 11th. Southern Utah was led by Jeff Evans, who posted a tournament total of 220 (+4) to tie for 40th.
BYU now readys itself for the Mountain West Conference Championships which begins May 5 in Tucson, Ariz.
The Field - 2011 PING Cougar Classic
1. Colorado State
4. UC Davis
T8. Washington State
10. Fresno State
T11. Northern Colorado
T13. Air Force
T13. Weber State
T15. Texas El Paso
T15. Utah State
17. Southern Utah
18. Boise State
6 Brigham Young University -3 292 290 279 861
1 Zac Blair -11 71 69 65 205
T15 Cameron Edens E 76 71 69 216
T19 Esteban Calisto +1 73 72 72 217
T68 Cole Ogden +9 74 78 73 225
T87 Justin Keiley +14 74 79 77 230
T32 Alton Anderson* +3 70 72 77 219
T62 Adam Tebbs* +8 74 75 75 224
T87 Daniel Reid* +14 82 77 71 230
* competing as an individual