Oscar Alvarez came within one stroke of winning the Husky Invitational. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
BREMERTON -- The BYU men's golf team saved the best for last during the final round of the Husky Invitational by shooting a 358 to finish in second place Tuesday.
The Cougars began the day 19 strokes behind tournament-leader USC, but the Cougars managed to cut 12 strokes off the lead. The Cougars overcame their inconsistent play Monday to finish strong.
"Today was more of what I expected of this team," BYU Coach Bruce Brockbank said. "We were more consistent and were able to make a run at it, but we just came up a bit short."
Brockbank said USC just got too far ahead for the Cougars to catch them. But he said he was pleased they beat the host team, No. 20 Washington, which is coached by former BYU assistant and Academic All-American Matt Thurmond.
But overall, Brockbank said he wished they could have played better on the first day.
"Anytime you finish second in a tournament you should be pretty happy, but I think deep down we know we should have won this one if we could have played more consistent on the first day," Brockbank said.
After a frustrating first two rounds, the Cougars put together a great final round. The team played up to its potential Tuesday.
Junior Todd Miller showed great improvement from Monday's rounds. Miller tallied four birdies and only one bogey to lead the Cougar charge Tuesday. The All-American's 3-under on Tuesday was seven strokes better than his second round, and eleven strokes better than his first round at the tournament.
Sophomore Oscar Alvarez played well all tournament long and came within one stroke of winning the tournament.
"Oscar had a chance to win it, but just couldn't make his birdie bid on the last hole to tie it," Brockbank said. "I really think that U.S. Open experience has done something for him. He is really playing strong."
Canadian Greg Machtaler was the Cougars steadiest performer of the tournament, with 13 birdies. He stroked a 2-under for the entire tournament with a 70-72-72--214. His performance landed him in third place overall.
Clay Ogden also recovered from Monday's round to post a 1-under for the day. Sophomore Jake Ellison also contributed to the Cougars' success by tallying a 217 to finish at No. 11. Ron Harvey Jr. also improved during the final round to help the Cougars hold onto to second place.
With one tournament under their belt, the Cougars are anxious to make a better showing at the next one.
"This team knows it can win tournaments and hopefully that will come soon," Brockbank said.
That chance will come when the Cougars play at the William H. Tucker Invitational on Oct. 1-2 in Albuquerque, N.M. The tournament can be followed live on golfstat.com or by accessing the link on the men's golf schedule at byucougars.com.
Fin. Team Scores
1 Southern California 356-359-370--1085 (+5)
2 Brigham Young Univ. 371-363-358--1092 (+12)
3 Washington 367-370-357--1094 (+14)
T4 Coastal Carolina 370-365-372--1107 (+27)
T4 Minnesota 366-371-370--1107 (+27)
6 UC-Irvine 368-368-383--1119 (+39)
7 UC Davis 373-371-377--1121 (+41)
8 Oregon State U. 381-377-381--1139 (+59)
9 Washington State U. 376-393-375--1144 (+64)
10 San Diego State 389-382-378--1149 (+69)
BYU Individual Results
Fin. Golfer Scores
2 Oscar Alvarez 73-68-72--213 (-3)
T3 Greg Machtaler 70-72-72--214 (-2)
T11 Jake Ellison 72-71-74--217 (+1)
T28 Todd Miller 80-76-69--225 (+9)
T37 Ron Harvey Jr. 77-76-75--228 (+12)
T41 Clay Ogden 79-80-71--230 (+14)