Clay Ogden took home medalist honors for the first time in his BYU career at the Pacific Invitational
STOCKTON -- BYU senior Clay Ogden claimed his first career victory as No. 23 BYU won the first annual Food4Less Pacific Invitational on Wednesday at the Brookside Country Club in Stockton, Calif.
BYU put three solid rounds together to claim their first tournament victory of the season as the top three Cougars finished first, second and fourth place individually. Being the top-seeded team, the Cougars played to their potential and led from start to finish. Holding a five stroke lead heading into the final round, the Cougars pulled away on Wednesday, finishing with an 11-stroke victory over No. 26 Charlotte.
"These guys played awesome," BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said. "We challenged them to win by 15 strokes and they nearly did that. I got to say that having three out of the top four individual finishers is pretty darn good."
For the individual title, it was a battle between Ogden and BYU's Daniel Summerhays, two former Davis High School teammates. Summerhays led the tournament after two rounds, but Ogden played an impressive third round, carding a final-rouund 67 to jump into the lead. On the final hole Summerhays had a chance to force a playoff with Ogden, but his six-foot putt lipped out. The whole Ogden vs. Summerhays battle over the last five holes was reminiscent of this past summer's Utah State Amateur where the two faced each other in the matchplay quarterfinal that went to 22 holes, with Summerhays edging Ogden out on the final hole. With both Cougars fighting for their first collegiate victory, it was Ogden's turn to come out on top even when he thought a playoff was destined to happen.
"I figured he'd make the final putt." Ogden said. "I was getting ready for a playoff. He and I have had some great battles over the years.
With BYU finishing their fall season, it was only appropriate for Summerhays and Ogden to battle for victory as the two have helped carry the Cougars this year. Summerhays leads the team in stroke average with Ogden not far behind. Ogden has been playing particularly well the last two tournaments thanks to hard work, adjustments to his swing and changing his putting stroke thanks to a tip from former Cougar and PGA pro Dean Wilson.
"Last year I had several chances to win a tournament, but lately I've been making a few changes to my swing and focusing on staying patient when I make a bad shot," Ogden said. "It's nice to see it pay off."
The other major story of this tournament was the play of freshman Robbie Fillmore, just over three months removed from an LDS mission. Fillmore, playing in his first collegiate golf tournament went 69-72-67--208 to finish in fourth place at eight-under-par.
"I've never had a kid come home from his mission and work as hard as he has." Brockbank said. "That was a very impressive performance by a freshman."
WIth seniors Jake Ellison and Nick Becker playing below their potential, Fillmore stepped up and helped the Cougars earn a big team victory.
"We have struggled all fall getting a good score from our fifth player," BYU assistant coach Todd Miller said. "A score like Robbie's is huge. That's what it takes to be a great golf team."
BYU will now take a couple months off for winter break before returning to action in February as they aim to return to their fourth consecutive national championship tournament.
BYU INDIVIDUAL SCORES
1. Clay Ogden 71-66-67--204 -12
2. Daniel Summerhays 66-69-70--205 -11
4. Robbie Fillmore 69-72-67--208 -8
24. Nick Becker 69-76-72--217 +1
31. Jake Ellison 71-72-76--219 +3
1 Brigham Young -34 275-279-276--830
2 Charlotte -23 280-279-282--841
3 UC-Santa Barbara -12 276-287-289--852
4 UC-Irvine -9 286-279-290--855
5 Rhode Island +3 285-292-290--867
6 Rice University +4 287-285-296--868
7 CSU-Northridge +6 284-291-295--870
8 Fresno State +7 285-290-296--871
9 Northern Colorado +14 296-284-298--878
10 San Jose State +17 292-288-301--881
11 Pacific +22 291-297-298--886
12 UC Riverside +54 310-302-306--918