Cougars fail to advance to NCAA finals | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Cougars fail to advance to NCAA finals

CORVALLIS, Ore.--BYU's final round 13-over-par wasn't enough to advance them into the NCAA finals for the first time in three years as the Cougars' season ended with a 17th place finish at the NCAA West Regionals.

BYU has advanced to the NCAA finals each of the last two years earning top three finishes both years. Coming into the tournament ranked 12th in the nation, BYU had a good chance to earn a third consecutive birth to the finals. A mixture of poor play by its top players and playing a course that negated BYU's strong long-ball skills caused the Cougars to miss out on the opportunity to advance.

"This course doesn't play to our team's strengths and we had a hard time adjusting to that," BYU senior Scott Miller said. "We played our hearts out, but we just didn't accomplish what we needed to this week."

Several other top 20 teams failed to advance including No. 5 Texas, No. 6 USC, No. 7 TCU, No. 13 New Mexico, and No. 20 Northwestern. A number of surprise teams such as UC Irvine, Pacific and Oregon State turned great performances at the NCAA West Regional despite mediocre seasons. Ironically, BYU had a winning head-to-head record with the majority of the teams who advanced to the finals.

"The results of this tournament tell you the depth of college golf these days," BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said. "There isn't a lot that separates the top 30 to 40 teams. On any given day one team can take better advantage of the golf course than another and win."

Miller, in his final tournament for BYU, led the Cougars on the final day shooting two-over-par. He was joined by fellow seniors Jesse Hibler and Billy Harvey, who shot final rounds 76 and 75 respectively. Juniors Manuel Merizalde and Kyle Wight both finished the season shooting a pair of 76s.

"We've had a great season and it is tough to see our success run at the NCAA Regionals come to an end," Brockbank said. "It's hard to say goodbye to a great group of seniors, but we have a new group coming in next year that will keep up the tradition of great golf at BYU.

The No. 6 Arizona State Sun Devils concludedtheir wire-to-wire run Saturday to capture the NCAA West Regional Men's Golf Championships at the Trysting Tree Golf Club. Arizona State finished at 12-under-par 852, 15 shots better than second place Arizona.

Kyle Thompson of South Carolina and Matt Jones of ASU shared medalist honors, finishing at 8-under 208. Thompson shot a final round 2-under 70, while Jones carded a 73. A total of 11 players finished under par for the tournament. The best score of the final round was a 68 turned in by Troy McKinley of Pacific, he finished tied for 15th at 218.

FINAL ROUND SCORES

1 Arizona State U. 283 277 292 852 -12

2 Arizona, U. of 289 289 289 867 +3

3 UC-Irvine 290 287 294 871 +7

4 Pacific, U. of the 298 293 281 872 +8

5 South Carolina 294 298 288 880 +16

6 Oregon State U. 290 301 290 881 +17

Stanford University 284 303 294 881 +17

UCLA 289 298 294 881 +17

9 Wake Forest Univ. 288 302 292 882 +18

10 Washington, U. of 290 301 292 883 +19

11 UNLV 294 300 292 886 +22

12 Southern California 298 300 289 887 +23

San Diego State U. 289 305 293 887 +23

14 Pepperdine Univ. 293 299 298 890 +26

15 Fresno State Univ. 298 301 297 896 +32

16 California, U. of 302 302 295 899 +35

17 Colorado State Univ. 297 300 304 901 +37

18 Oregon, U. of 302 294 306 902 +38

19 Brigham Young Univ. 296 307 301 904 +40

New Mexico, U. of 305 299 300 904 +40

21 Tennessee, Univ. of 297 316 301 914 +50

22 Nevada, Univ. of 302 307 306 915 +51

24 Detroit Mercy, U. of 295 326 313 934 +70

25 Navy 310 311 314 935 +71

26 Oral Roberts Univ. 312 309 316 937 +73

27 Weber State Univ. 302 324 317 943 +79

27 Weber State Univ. +50 F 324

BYU INDIVIDUAL SCORES

T 49 Jesse Hibler 75 73 76 224

T 67 Billy Harvey 76 75 75 226

T 96 Manuel Merizalde 78 76 76 230

T101 Kyle Wight 72 83 76 231

116 Scott Miller