Junior Jake Ellison set a career-low two-round total on his way to a second-place finish at the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate. Ellison led BYU to fifth-place tie at the talent-filled event. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
BIRMINGHAM -- The No. 14 BYU men's golf team continued to improve in its final round at the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate, moving from seventh place to tie for fifth place behind the top two teams in the country and two in-state schools playing on a familiar course.
Junior Jake Ellison and senior Oscar Alvarez paced the Cougars climb up the leader board on Tuesday with matching scores of 5-under 66 on the par-71 layout at Old Overton Club in Birmingham, Ala. Ellison's three-round total of 7-under 206 elevated him to a second-place individual finish. He had back-to-back rounds of 66, marking the lowest two-round total of his career (-10).
"Jake and Oscar played extremely well out there today," BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said. "They were both pretty solid all week and made a lot of good choices."
Alvarez and junior Nick Becker both tied for 27th place at 1-over 214, with Becker never shooting more than 1-over par during the three rounds. Junior Clay Ogden and sophomore Daniel Summerhays finished at 5-over 214 and 9-over 222, respectively.
As a team, the Cougars finished at 5-under 847 and were one of only four teams to lower its score in each successive round. Brockbank said he and his team are frustrated with their showing in early rounds because they know they can play better.
" We knew we've been struggling in the first rounds of our tournaments," he said. "If we could play better first rounds we'd be pretty tough."
Brockbank said it was a privilege for his team to participate in the prestigious Pate Intercollegiate, which he deemed one of the top events his team will participate in this year.
"We came down here to be in contention to win, and we played a lot of good golf," he said. "But we have a lot to evaluate to manage games more consistently and figure out how to play that first round."
No. 2 Georgia Tech held off top-ranked Georgia to claim the team title, while Alabama and UAB filled the other top spots. Garrett Osborn of UAB took the individual championship with a remarkable 16-under-par performance, highlighted by rounds of 62, 66 and 69.
Despite Ellison's strong showing against nine of the country's top 50 golfers, he said he and his teammates still have a lot they can show on the golf course.
"We're kind of frustrated right now because we're as talented as these other teams," Ellison said. "We have a lot of work to do. We need to work harder and work better as a team to improve."
The Cougars return to competition at The Prestige in Palm Springs, Calif., Oct. 17-18.
Fin. School Score
1 Georgia Tech 274-278-276--828 (-24)
2 Georgia 285-276-273--834 (-18)
3 UAB 279-282-281--842 (-10)
4 Alabama 277-288-279--844 (-8)
T5 BYU 290-279-278--847 (-5)
T5 Tulsa 289-285-273--847 (-5)
7 Clemson 280-287-284--851 (-1)
8 Auburn 281-287-285--853 (+1)
9 Augusta State 274-296-287--857 (+5)
10 Arizona 291-287-282--860 (+8)
11 TCU 290-291-284--865 (+13)
12 Vanderbilt 289-293-287--869 (+17)
BYU Individual Results
Fin. Golfer Score
T2 Jake Ellison 74-66-66--206 (-7)
T27 Oscar Alvarez 78-70-66--210 (-3)
T27 Nick Becker 72-70-72--214 (+1)
T42 Clay Ogden 70-73-75--218 (+5)
T53 Daniel Summerhays 74-74-74--222 (+9)