Cougars hold a big lead at the Ben Hogan Cougar Classic

Provo, Utah --BYU's men's golf team shot 30-under-par after two rounds to hold a 22 shot lead heading into Saturday's third and final round at the Ben Hogan Cougar Classic.

BYU was led by sophomore Manuel Merizalde who shot a sizzling 66-66--132 to hold a five stroke lead over teammate Scott Miller who shot a 70-67--137. Merizalde's nailed putt after putt and sank a bunker shot on the eighteenth hole.

"Manuel stepped up and set the pace for us today," BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said. "I was hoping we could do this today and we did it. We've shot a lot of good scores at Riverside this year and for us to do that in big tournament says a lot about the character of these guys."

Individually, the Cougars hold the top three spots and four of the top six spots after two rounds. Senior Andy Miller is in third place after shooting 69-69--138 and senior Jose Garrido's two round 138 puts him in sixth place overall.

Brockbank credits team depth as the reason for the Cougars success.

"When your sixth man (Scott Miller) can shoot low enough scores to be in second place after two rounds, you know we've got depth," Brockbank said. "I don't have to motivate these guys. That's the beautiful thing about depth. Andy wants to come back tomorrow and beat Manuel, Jose wants to come back and challenge Scott. Everybody's very competitive on the team and that's the reason why we have been so successful."

Second round action of the Ben Hogan Cougar Classic begin Saturday at 8 a.m. and should finish around 3:30 p.m. at the Riverside Country Club in Provo, Utah.

1. BYU		273-273--546

2. Fresno State 277-291--568

3. New Mexico 282-287--569

4. San Diego St.289-292--581

5. Hawaii 289-293--582

5. Colorado St. 290-292--582

7. Wyoming 286-297--583

7. Air Force 289-294--583

7. Tulsa 296-287--583

10. Utah 295-293--588

11. So. Utah 293-296--589

12. Nevada 296-297--593

13. Weber State 295-301--596

13. Boise State 297-299--596

15. Utah State 314-303--617

1. Manuel Merizalde BYU 66-66--132

2. Scott Miller BYU 70-67--137

3. Andy Miller BYU 69-69--138

4. Michael Letzig New Mexico 71-68--139

5. Nick Watney Fresno St. 68-72--140

6. Jose Garrido BYU 68-73--141

(t) Mike Haack Nevada 71-70--141

(t) Scott Hailes New Mexico 70-71--141

Scott Piercy SDSU 69-72--141

10. Mike Louden Fresno St. 71-71--142

Todd Eaker Tulsa 72-70--142

Danny Visosky Air Force 71-71--142

13. Martin Maritz Tulsa 72-71--143

Jeff Scohy Air Force 72-71--143

Luke Sestero Boise St. 71-72--143

16. Nigel Spence Colo. St. 74-70--144

(t) Ryan Ellis Utah 73-71--144

18. Dustin Volk Weber St. 74-71--145

(t) Wil Collins New Mexico 70-75--145

(t) Todd Rose Fresno St. 69-76--145

(t) Darrin Overson Colo. St. 70-75--145

(t) Tommy Sharp Colo. St. 73-72--145

(t) Josh Watney Fresno St. 69-76--145

(t) Norman-Ganin Asao Hawaii 71-74--145

25. Gregg Oliphant Utah 74-72--146

(t) Mike Urbatchka Wyoming 77-69--146

(t) Todd Miller BYU 75-71--146

(t) Kevin Price New Mexico 71-75--146

(t) Aaron Hansen Southern Utah 74-72--146