Cougars claw their way to third place

LAREDO -- The season of third-place finishes continues for the No. 14-ranked Cougars.

For the sixth time this season, the BYU men's golf team (290-282-290--862) came away with third place on Saturday at the Border Olympics in Laredo, Texas, three stokes behind second-place Baylor (286-283-290--859). The Cougars have been at least the fifth-best club in all nine of their tournaments this season, including a first-place win in March at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate in Austin, Texas. And that makes head coach Bruce Brockbank proud of his team.

"We're showing signs of greatness," he said. "These guys know our potential is great."

Great describes the recent play of junior Greg Machtaler, who shot a five-under-par 70-69-72--211 and took sixth in the individual standings. Just ahead of Machtaler in fourth place was sophomore Oscar Alvarez (73-68-69--210), who shot a sizzling five under par. It was Alvarez's best finish of the season and his second-round score of 68 matched, for the fourth time, his lowest single round this year.

Brockbank said he has been pleased with Machtaler's effort, even when he was struggling earlier in the season.

"He has worked hard and been patient," Brockbank said. "This is the time to be playing your best golf."

The best golf at the Border Olympics was played by SMU (282-276-294--852). The Mustangs coasted to the win after shooting 18 under par through the first two rounds of play on Friday. Texas A&M (296-282-297--875), host of the Border Olympics and last year's winner after a dramatic 16-stroke comeback, finished seventh. The top individual was Colorado State's Martin Laird, who fired a nine-under 68-68-71--207.

For the Cougars, sophomore Clay Bingham was four over with 73-72-75--220, freshman Clay Ogden shot 74-75-74--223, and junior Todd Miller tallied 75-73-75--223. Freshman Jake Ellison, who leads BYU with a 71.8 stroke average, did not play due to a muscle strain in his arm.

Brockbank expressed little concern over Miller, a Cougar constant for most of the season but who has struggled as of late.

"He'll find his way," Brockbank said. "I expect he'll bounce back."

The Cougars finished seventh out of 14 teams in last year's Border Olympics, shooting a 10-over 291-286-297--874. They were led by freshman Daniel Summerhays, who took fifth place in the individual standings after firing 72-71-69--212, four under par.

BYU played against a competitive field of 16 teams, including the following: No. 19-ranked Arkansas, No. 29 Colorado State, Rice, Southeastern Louisiana, North Texas, No. 39 SMU, No. 48 Baylor, No. 45 San Diego State, Lamar, No. 37 Texas Tech, Houston, Texas State, Texas-Arlington, Michigan State, No. 49 Texas-San Antonio, and host Texas A&M, who is ranked No. 38 nationally.

The Border Olympics were played at Laredo Country Club, a par-72 course that measures 7,125 yards.

Border Olympics                  Laredo, Texas

April 2 Laredo Country Club

Par: 72 Yardage: 7,125

Fin. Name Score

3 Brigham Young 290-282-290--862 (-2)

T 4 Oscar Alvarez 73-68-69--210 (-6)

6 Greg Machtaler 70-69-72--211 (-5)

T 29 Clay Bingham 73-72-75--220 (+4)

T 45 Todd Miller 75-73-75--223 (+7)

T 45 Clay Ogden 74-75-74--223 (+7)

Fin. School Score

1 Southern Methodist 282-276-294--852 (-12)

2 Baylor 286-283-290--859 (-5)

3 Brigham Young 290-282-290--862 (-2)

4 Colorado State 291-285-290--866 (+2)

5 San Diego State 287-286-296--869 (+5)

6 Arkansas 293-284-295--872 (+8)

7 Texas A&M 296-282-297--875 (+11)

8 Texas Tech 290-288-298--876 (+12)

9 Lamar 289-285-303--877 (+13)

T 10 Texas-Arlington 299-290-292--881 (+17)

T 10 North Texas 289-298-294--881 (+17)

T 12 SE Louisiana 291-298-301--890 (+26)

T 12 Texas-San Antonio 302-292-296--890 (+26)

14 Houston 292-295-305--892 (+28)

15 Michigan State 297-290-306--893 (+29)

16 Rice 290-304-307--901 (+37)

17 Texas State 301-298-309--908 (+44)

Fin. Top 20 Players School Score

1 Martin Laird Colorado State 68-68-71--207 (-9)

T 2 Ryan Baca Baylor 69-71-68--208 (-8)

T 2 Jerad Harklau Southern Methodist 65-69-74--208 (-8)

T 4 Chris Stroud Lamar 69-70-71--210 (-6)

T 4 Oscar Alvarez Brigham Young 73-68-69--210 (-6)

6 Greg Machtaler Brigham Young 70-69-72--211 (-5)

T 7 Zach Mowbray Houston 71-69-72--212 (-4)

T 7 Aaron Choi San Diego State 68-73-71--212 (-4)

9 Will Dodson Southern Methodist 72-66-75--213 (-3)

T 10 David Tasker Texas A&M 71-70-73--214 (-2)

T 10 Andrew Dresser Texas Tech 70-70-74--214 (-2)

T 12 Brett Bergeron SE Louisiana 69-72-74--215 (-1)

T 12 Andrew Ruthkoski Michigan State 70-70-75--215 (-1)

T 14 Zach Atkinson North Texas 70-76-70--216 (E)

T 14 Nolan Martin Colorado State 72-73-71--216 (E)

T 16 Andrew Dahl Arkansas 73-72-72--217 (+1)

T 16 Mike Mezei Texas-San Antonio 74-72-71--217 (+1)

T 16 Jeremy Alcorn Baylor 72-68-77--217 (+1)

T 16 Colt Knost Southern Methodist 77-70-70--217 (+1)

T 16 Matt Bortis Arkansas 76-66-75--217 (+1)