Defending Champs Begin MWC Championship Play

Junior Nick Killpack performed well for the Cougars on opening day of the MWC Championships. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

TUCSON -- Defending MWC Champions BYU jumped out to a solid start, finishing the first round at two-over-par at the 2008 MWC Championship at Arizona National on Thursday.

Trailing first-round leader No. 16 UNLV by just five strokes, BYU's young men's golf team kept themselves in contention to defend their crown thanks to good play by all five Cougars. Junior Nick Killpack and freshman Adam Tebbs paced the Cougars with a pair of even-par 71s. Tebbs and Killpack are tied for seventh place individually. Two other Cougars, Esteban Calisto and Robbie Fillmore, finished the day even par to round out the scoring for BYU.

"We played consistent for the most part today and the pressure didn't really seem to affect us," BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said. "We've got to do a better job of capitalizing on our good shots if we want to win this. There are some good teams out here and we're capable of hangin' with them.

At last year's MWC Championship BYU was five-under-par after the first day and held on to win. On Thursday BYU's two-over-par was good enough to keep within contention, setting up a very important second round. On Friday BYU will be paired with No. 16 UNLV and second-place TCU.

"Friday will really be a test of the progress of this team," Brockbank said. "We've made a lot of progress, but we really need to have a couple of guys to go under par to keep us in the fight. I'm excited to see what we can do. It's a big day for us."

Live scoring of the second round is available on the internet at www.golfstat.com.

TEAM SCORING

1 UNLV 281 -3

2 TCU 283 -1

3 BYU 286 +2

T4 Utah 288 +4

T4 CSU 288 +4

6 San Diego St 289 +5

7 New Mexico 296 +12

8 Wyoming 299 +15

9 Air Force 305 +21

BYU Individual Scoring

T7 Nick Killpack 71 E

T7 Adam Tebbs 71 E

T15 Esteban Calisto 72 +1

T15 Robbie Fillmore 72 +1

T26 Brady Johnson 74 +3

Tags: Results