Cougars Claim Second in Season Opener

Sophomore Daniel Summerhays, playing in his first tournament in more than two years, fired a career best 65 in the third round to help the Cougars finish second in Albuquerque. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

ALBUQUERQUE -- After an up-and-down showing on the first day of the William H. Tucker Invitational, the men's golf team improved by 20 strokes from Round 2 to score a 12-under-par 276 and finish second in the 20-team field Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M.

Sophomore Daniel Summerhays, playing in his first tournament since returning from an LDS Church mission to Chile two months ago, quickly returned to competition form by firing a 65 (-7) in the third round. His career-low performance featured nine birdies, which was the most in any one round of the two-day tournament on the 7,350-yard, par-72 UNM Championship Course.

"I just did everything pretty well and I putted really well," Summerhays said of his third-round effort. "I was nervous on the first few holes, but it was good to get the competitive blood running again. I surprised myself, but it feels good to contribute to the team, have fun and almost win a tournament."

Despite the Cougars' success in Round 3, they were outpaced by conference foe UNLV's consistent play throughout the tournament; the Rebels' rounds of 282, 288 and 281 (-13 overall) comfortably separated them from the other contenders. BYU's final score of 861 (-3) was one stroke ahead of Texas Tech, while Baylor and Colorado rounded out the top-5.

BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said he was looking for more consistency coming into the final round, and he said he was more pleased with the way his team competed to finish the tournament.

"They stepped out and played like they are capable of playing," Brockbank said.

The Cougars were well represented on the individual leader board with Junior Jake Ellison and Senior Oscar Alvarez tying for fifth place at 3-under-par. Ellison, who carded a tournament- and career-low 64 (-8) in Round 1, improved his second-round 78 by seven strokes to end the third round at 1-under 71.

Alvarez showed more consistency in his game, shooting two rounds under par and finishing with a 3-under 69 on Saturday. On No. 18, he nailed a 3-wood approach shot from 270 yards to within 10 feet of the pin to set up a chance for an eagle. He secured a spot in the top-5 after his putt found the cup for his first eagle of the season.

Juniors Nick Becker and Clay Ogden also competed for the Cougars, finishing in ties for 56th and 65th places, respectively. Becker's low of 71 in Round 3 was the highest score BYU counted, making the Cougars' 276 the lowest one-round team total in the tournament. Ogden's best effort was a 1-over 73 in the second round, which was second only to Alvarez's 71 (-1).

"I just feel really happy with the team," said Summerhays, who tied for 17th place. "It shows that we have a lot of firepower and that every guy on the team can play well."

The Cougars will return to competition Sept. 26 for the PING Preview in Sunriver, Ore.

Fin. School           Scores

1 UNLV 282-288-281--851 (-13)

2 BYU 289-296-276--861 (-3)

3 Texas Tech 280-297-285--862 (-2)

4 Baylor 287-298-285--870 (+6)

5 Colorado 288-290-294--872 (+8)

T6 Nevada 288-299-288--875 (+11)

T6 Northwestern 288-293-294--875 (+11)

T8 New Mexico 297-294-288--879 (+15)

T8 Arizona 295-292-292--879 (+15)

T8 Texas A&M 294-290-295--879 (+15)

11 San Diego State 288-300-296--884 (+20)

T12 Fresno State 289-303-293--885 (+21)

T12 Wyoming of 295-301-289--885 (+21)

14 Denver of 295-302-292--889 (+25)

15 New Mexico (B) 292-308-291--891 (+27)

16 Colorado State 293-313-288--894 (+30)

17 New Mexico State 305-297-294--896 (+32)

18 Air Force 292-311-299--902 (+38)

19 Texas El Paso 299-313-292--904 (+40)

20 Iowa State 297-306-305--908 (+44)

BYU Individual Results

Fin. Golfer Score

T5 Oscar Alvarez 73-71-69--213 (-3)

T5 Jake Ellison 64-78-71--213 (-3)

T17 Daniel Summerhays 75-77-65--217 (+1)

T56 Nick Becker 77-75-71--223 (+7)

T63 Clay Ogden 77-73-75--225 (+9)

104 participants

Tags: Results