Ron Harvey is one of three Cougars in the top-20 at the Tucker Invitational. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
ALBUQUERQUE -- The BYU men's golf team fought through two rounds of golf to finish the day in fifth place at the William H. Tucker Invitational on Friday.
The Cougars shot a 3-over 286-293--579 on the par 72, 7,354-yard course to finish behind conference rivals New Mexico and UNLV with one round left to play on Saturday.
BYU Coach Bruce Brockbank said the course was firm and fast on Friday causing the Cougars to miss a few key shots.
BYU golfer Greg Machtaler said the fast course caused some problems later in the day.
"The course was pretty good in the morning when there was a little bit of dew," Machtaler said. "But by the end day, when it had dried out, the course was playing really fast."
The Cougars are anxious to get back on the course and bounce back from today's finish much like they did earlier in the week at the Husky Invitational.
"We need to have a solid round tomorrow," Brockbank said. "We'd like to sneak up on some of the teams ahead of us."
Machtaler said the key to success in the final round would be the Cougars' mental toughness.
"We just need to take it one shot at a time," Machtaler said. "We've been trying too hard, rather than just letting it come to us. We don't need to worry so much about mistakes and just move on."
Machtaler has shown his mental toughness by the consistently strong rounds he's carded. He along with sophomore Oscar Alvarez form a great one-two punch for the team. The duo continues to card great numbers for the Cougars. Machtaler finished the day at 2-under to place in a tie at No. 8. Alvarez is just two strokes behind Machtaler after shooting an even par on Friday. Alvarez is tied for 15th place.
Ron Harvey Jr. continues to impress as he finished in the top-20 with a solid 1-over performance. Harvey has been a consistent, dependable golfer through the first two tournaments of the season.
The Cougars finished the first round in a tie for second place, seven strokes behind tournament-leading Arizona, but managed just a 293 in the second round as they tallied several bogeys coming down the home stretch.
But if form holds true, the Cougars will bring their best tomorrow for the final round of the Invitational. Brockbank said the team needs to do better at capitalizing on shots if they want to improve.
"We need to be less tentative than we were today," he said.
The final round of the tournament can be followed live at golfstat.com or by accessing the link on the men's golf schedule page at byucougars.com. The golfers tee off tomorrow at 8:00 a.m.
Fin. School Scores
1 Arizona 279-284--563 (-13)
2 New Mexico 286-283--569 (-7)
T3 Nevada, Univ. of 290-287--577 (+1)
T3 UNLV 291-286--577 (+1)
5 Brigham Young Univ. 286-293--579 (+3)
6 Texas A&M Univ. 289-291--580 (+4)
T7 Colorado State U. 291-292--583 (+7)
T7 Colorado 291-292--583 (+7)
T7 Texas Tech 291-292--583 (+7)
10 Wichita State Univ. 294-292--586 (+10)
11 New Mexico State U. 291-297--588 (+12)
12 San Diego State 296-294--590 (+14)
13 Baylor 300-293--593 (+17)
14 Fresno State 300-296--596 (+20)
T15 Air Force 303-295--598 (+22)
T15 Texas El Paso, U. 303-295--598 (+22)
T17 Hawaii, Univ. of 305-296--601 (+25)
T17 North Carolina 297-304--601 (+25)
19 Arkansas, U. of 303-306--609 (+33)
BYU Individual Results
Fin. Golfer Scores
T8 Greg Machtaler 70-72--142 (-2)
T15 Oscar Alvarez 71-73--144 (E)
T20 Ron Harvey Jr. 71-74--145 (+1)
T56 Jake Ellison 76-74--150 (+6)
T77 Todd Miller 74-79--153 (+9)