Cougars earn No. 5 seed at NCAA West Regional Golf Championship

PROVO -- No. 16 BYU men's golf team earned the No. 5 seed at the 2004 NCAA West Regional to be played May 20-22 at Crosswater Club, Sunriver, Ore., the NCAA Golf Committee announced May 10.

"It's always an honor to earn a post-season invitation," BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said. "College golf keeps getting more and more competitive and we've been fortunate to have a great season, and now have a chance to play for a national championship."

BYU, who lost in a playoff to New Mexico at the MWC Championship earlier this month, hopes to advance to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2000. This is the Cougars 14th consecutive invitation to NCAA regional competition. BYU has been invited every year since the regional format was instituted in 1991. BYU has placed among the top 10 in five of those 14 years including a second-place finish in 2000.

The top 10 teams and low two individuals advance to the NCAA Division I Men's Championship June 1-4 at the Homestead in Hot Springs, Va. The 2004 NCAA West Regional is being held at Sunriver Resort in Oregon, a place where the Cougars feel very comfortable. Sunriver has hosted the Mountain West Conference Golf Championships the past four years and was also the location of BYU's last tournament.

"It's a great benefit for us to be able to go back to Sunriver where we are very familiar with the course," Brockbank said.

Third-ranked UCLA will be the top seed in the West Regional followed by Arizona State, Arizona, USC and BYU. Three other members of the Mountain West Conference join the Cougars in Oregon. New Mexico earned the ninth seed while UNLV the seventh seed, Colorado State the 11th seed and San Diego State the 15th seed. The West regional may arguably be the most difficult region in the nation to advance from as 10 of the nation's top 25 teams are in the West. No other regional has as many top 25 teams. The Cougars earned the No. 12 seed nationally by the NCAA Golf Committee and will be paired with USC and Cal in the first round on May 20.

"We've beaten just about everyone in this field at one time or another this season, so we're confident we can win this one if we play well," BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank. "Our expectations are high, but it's going to come down to us playing well and making the putts.

The Cougars are led by MWC First-Team All Conference selections Oscar Alvarez (Junior from Medellin, Colombia), Greg Machtaler (Junior from Summerland, Canada), and Jake Ellison (Freshman from St. George, Utah). All three are ranked among the top 100 individual collegiate golfers in the nation.

NCAA WEST REGIONAL SEEDINGS

The West Regional will be played May 20-22 at Crosswater Club, Sun River, Ore.

1. UCLA

2. Arizona State

3. Arizona

4. Southern California

5. Brigham Young

6. California

7. UNLV

8. Washington

9. New Mexico

10. Pepperdine

11. Colorado State

12. Toledo

13. Texas-El Paso

14. Central Florida

15. San Diego State

16. Stanford

17. UNC-Wilmington

18. Furman

19. Denver

20. New Mexico State

21. Cal-Riverside

22. Cal-Irvine

23. Coastal Carolina

24. Long Beach State

25. Louisiana-Monroe

26. Loyola (Md.)

27. Wright State

Individuals:

Matt Kodama, Hawaii

Travis Bertoni, Cal-Poly

Graham DeLaet, Boise State

Chad Spencer, Fresno State

Joe Lanza, St. Mary's (Calif.)

Garrett Clegg, Utah