Consistent Cougars On Top After First Round

AUSTIN -- Fighting inclement weather, the BYU men's golf team leads a talent-laden field, by four strokes, carding a one-over-par 289, in the first round of the Morris Williams Intercollegiate. The tournament is being hosted by the University of Texas at the Austin Country Club, a par 72 course over 6,906 yards.

"To see these guys come out and play so well was exciting," said head coach Bruce Brockbank. "This was a great round of golf especially considering the weather was miserable and windy."

On a day when all five Cougar players shot rounds of 75 or better, it was the seniors who struggled to keep up. Freshman Ron Harvey Jr., led the BYU charge, and continues his strong spring play as he shot one-under 71. Jared Overton also carded a one-under 71. Harvey and Overton stand in a tie for fifth. Freshman Greg Matchaler finished one-over 73, good to be tied for 15th.

Seniors Kyle Wight and Manuel Merizalde shot rounds of two-over 74 and three-over 75, to round out the teams' scoring.

Battling inconsistency through the first three spring tournaments, the Cougars have finally started to display their collective talents.

"To me it's a real confidence builder for our team," Wight said. "We know what we're capable of and I think it was only a matter of time before we started shooting a solid round as a team. One reason why we handled the conditions so well is that we've been playing in the cold and wind in Provo the past month and a half."

The 15-team field at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate features four teams in the top 10 of the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings; Oklahoma State, USC, TCU and Fresno State. In addition Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Pepperdine and North Florida are in the top 25. The Cougars are currently ranked 66th.

There was 36 holes scheduled to be completed on Monday, but play was suspended due to darkness at approximately 6:30 p.m. The Cougars were able to complete 15 holes of golf in the second round.

"They've played 15 holes of the second round and are starting to struggle a bit, but hopefully they will find some consistency to finish the tournament," Brockbank said.

Second round play is scheduled to resume at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday and final round play will begin at 10 a.m.

"If we can play consistent golf, we have a good chance of winning this thing against a very talented field," Brockbank said.

BYU Individual Scores

T5 Ron Harvey, Jr. BYU 35- 36 71 -1

T5 Jared Overton BYU 34- 37 71 -1

T15 Greg Matchaler BYU 35- 38 73 +1

T24 Kyle Wight BYU 36- 38 74 +2

T28 Manuel Merizalde BYU 38- 37 75 +3

1 Brigham Young Univ. 289 +1

2 Oklahoma, U. of 293 +5

3 Texas, Univ. of 294 +6

4 Oklahoma State U. 295 +7

5 North Florida, U. of 297 +9

6 Southern Methodist 298 +10

7 Houston, Univ. of 299 +11

Pepperdine Univ. 299 +11

9 Northwestern 300 +12

10 Southern California 301 +13

11 Fresno State Univ. 302 +14

12 TCU 303 +15

13 New Mexico, U. of 305 +17

14 UNLV 314 +26

15 Texas A&M University 318 +30