Cougars make dramatic comeback

Daniel Summerhays posted a three-under-par 69 to lift BYU into 15th place at the 2006 NCAA Golf Championship.

SUNRIVER -- Seventh-ranked BYU posted the low round of the day en route to a dramatic third-round comeback that ended with a two-stroke sudden-death playoff victory to advance to the final round of the 2006 NCAA Golf Championship.

BYU started the day tied for 25th out of 30 teams and needed to make up seven strokes to sneak into the top 15 and make the final-round cut. Under rainy conditions and a late afternoon tee time, BYU started to make a move. After nine holes they were just three strokes away from the coveted fifteenth spot.

On the back nine BYU would need some big putts and heroics from all four counting scores. With four holes to play the Cougars still trailed 15th place Coastal Carolina by two strokes. Jake Ellison and Daniel Summerhays birdied the par-four hole 15, but Oscar Alvarez made bogey. Alvarez bogied 16 as well, but Clay Ogden chipped in on 18 to make a key birdie. The Cougars still trailed by one stroke when both Summerhays and Ellison lipped out birdie putts on 17. Then on hole 18 Alarez made a 15-foot birdie putt to pull the Cougars even with Coastal Carolina.

Summerhays and Ellison still had to par 18 for BYU to have a chance to advance. Summerhay's first chance at birdie was about four feet short, but the gallery roared when he sunk a clutch par putt.

"I haven't been that nervous in a long, long time," Summerhays said. "People can't see it, but I'm out there shaking. I just tried to stay confident and believe that I was going to make that putt."

Ellison made a fantastic second shot on 18 to give him a great chance at birdie. A four-foot putt was all that separated BYU from advancing. Ellison just missed, then made par to help BYU go to a sudden-death playoff. In the playoff both Nick Becker and Ogden bogied while Summerhays made par. The first two Coastal Carolina players made double-bogey and bogey. Alvarez hit a sensation birdie putt from 30 feet off the green to within a couple inches and made par.. Then Ellison canned a bending 25-foot birdie putt to put the pressure on Coastal Carolina. Carolina couldn't recover as their next player bogied, sealing the victory for BYU.

"Our backs were against the wall, and once again these guys stepped up and performed," BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said. "To see them win that playoff hole to make the cut was as exciting as any victory I've been a part of."

Summerhays was the low Cougar for the second straight day, posting an impressive three-under-par 69. He had three birdies, several big par putts and no bogies. He moves into a tie for 16th place with Ellison at one-under-par for the tournament. Ogden also went under par thanks to his clutch birdie on 18. Ellison and Alvarez both went even par to give BYU the best score of the day on Friday at four-under-par.

"I knew we had to play good to get in," Ellison said. "Everyone just played solid and I'm just excited for our team. Wow, there was sure a lot of drama out there today."

The Cougars are just four shots out of making their third straight Top 10 finish at the NCAA Championship. Last season they entered the fourth round in 11 place and finished fourth thanks to a phenomenal final round.

"To make the cut the way we did give our team a lot of confidence," Summerhays said. "If we had to make a cut every round I think we'd be doing pretty good. We just need to go out tomorrow with the same attitude and who knows how we'll move up."

The Cougars will tee off in the morning on Saturday hoping for good weather and a repeat of Friday's memorable performance. Fans can follow the Cougars live on the internet at www.golfstat.com.

BYU INDIVIDUAL SCORES

T16. Jake Ellison 69-74-72--143 -1

T16. Daniel Summerhays 73-73-69--221 -1

T63. Oscar Alvarez 74-74-72--149 +5

T103. Clay Ogden 77-76-71--224 +8

T130. Nick Becker 77-76-76--229 +13

1 Washington 281 282 294 857 ?7

T2 Oklahoma State 281 291 288 860 ?4

T2 Wake Forest 277 289 294 860 ?4

T2 Arizona State 287 279 294 860 ?4

T5 Minnesota 287 286 292 865 +1

T5 Lamar University 292 283 290 865 +1

7 Clemson 282 288 296 866 +2

8 Florida 284 285 298 867 +3

9 Georgia 293 286 290 869 +5

T10 Texas A&M 291 283 296 870 +6

T10 Arizona 296 283 291 870 +6

T10 UCLA 280 294 296 870 +6

T10 Kentucky 283 287 300 870 +6

14 Duke University 290 297 284 871 +7

T15 Brigham Young 292 298 284 874 +10

T15 Coastal Carolina 296 287 291 874 +10

17 North Carolina 297 289 290 876 +12

18 North Carolina State 284 295 298 877 +13

T19 UNLV 293 290 297 880 +16

T19 Auburn 295 293 292 880 +16

21 East Tennessee St. 286 301 298 885 +21

T22 Pepperdine 296 294 296 886 +22

T22 South Carolina 292 296 298 886 +22

T22 Charlotte 288 299 299 886 +22

25 Northwestern 292 295 302 889 +25

26 Georgia Tech 301 294 296 891 +27

27 Texas Tech 297 290 305 892 +28

28 Nevada 296 294 307 897 +33

29 Oklahoma 284 306 313 903 +39

30 Loyola Marymount 300 312 303 915 +51

Tags: Results