BYU's men's golf team pulled off arguably its biggest victory of the year by outlasting UNLV on the first playoff hole Tuesday to claim the 34th Cleveland Golf/Morris Williams Intercollegiate at Austin Country Club.
"This was big for us," BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said after his team defeated UNLV on the first extra hole. "We had the lead going into the final round, leaked a little oil early on, but came back and played our guts out on the back nine. And, we beat some pretty good teams here."
BYU entered the final round with an eight shot lead over Oklahoma State and a 10-shot edge over Fresno State and New Mexico, with UNLV 13 shots behind. The Cougars shot a 7-over 295 on the final round, but UNLV climbed into a tie with a final-round best 6-under 282, evening both teams at 881.
BYU and UNLV then headed to the par-4, No. 1 hole for a playoff. Junior Billy Harvey was the hero for the Cougars in the playoff after he sank an 18-foot birdie putt. Andy and Todd Miller both parred and Jose Garrido sealed the victory after he made a 2-1/2 foot par putt giving BYU a 1-under for their four counting scores.
"I feel we have a great team and something like this was just the kind of experience we needed as we head down the stretch this spring," Brockbank said. "I'm really proud of these guys, they did a heck of a job."
Individually, Andy Miller came just short of winning after finishing one shot behind New Mexico's Joel Hendry.After a birdie at 17, Miller needed birdie on the par-4 18th hole to tie Hendry and give his team victory in regulation, but his 35-foot birdie just missed the hole. Miller finished with a 72-70-70--212.
This victory was the Cougars' sixth of the season giving BYU more victories than any other school in the nation. The Morris Williams Intercollegiate hosted 11 of the nation's top 25 teams and four of the nation's top ten teams.
The tournament is dedicated to the memory of former University of Texas golf star Morris Williams, Jr., who died in a plane crash while serving in the Air Force in 1953, three years after his successful Longhorns career.
1. x-BYU 304-282-295-881 +17
1. UNLV 299-300-282-881 +17
3. Fresno State 294-302-290-886 +22
4. Oklahoma St. 290-304-295-889 +25
5. Houston 302-296-293-891 +27
5. New Mexico 298-298-295-891 +27
7. Arizona 307-302-288-897 +33
8. Pepperdine 304-303-292-899 +35
9. Texas A&M 298-303-299-900 +36
10. Texas 307-303-295-905 +41
11. Oklahoma 304-302-304-910 +46
12. TCU 314-303-296-913 +49
13. S. Carolina 310-303-311-924 +60
14. USC 312-315-302-929 +65
15. SMU 313-304-316-933 +69
x-won on first playoff hole
BYU Individual Scores
2. Andy Miller 72-70-70--212
t18. Manuel Merizalde 74-72-78--224
t25. Todd Miller 77-70-78--225
t25. Jose Garrido 81-70-74--225
t55. Billy Harvey 82-78-73--233