No. 13 BYU heads to MWC Championship

Senior Greg Machtaler leads BYU into the MWC Championship on April 28-30.

PROVO -- BYU's 13th-ranked men's golf team returns to Sunriver, Ore. to compete in the 2005 Mountain West Conference Championship this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The Cougars, fresh off a second-place finish at the PING Cougar Classic, will face off against two of the nation's top teams in No. 4 UNLV and No. 5 New Mexico. Colorado State and San Diego State are also highly regarded and could challenge for the MWC title.

BYU has come very close to winning the MWC Championship the last two years. In last year's MWC Championship, BYU tied New Mexico for first but lost in a sudden death playoff. In 2003, the Cougars trailed New Mexico by two strokes going into the final day, but faded into second place in the final round.

"We're determined to show what we can do," BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said. "Our guys are familiar with this course and now it's time to show what we're made of."

This year's Mountain West Conference championship features four players ranked among the nation's top-20 individuals, including No. 1 ranked Ryan Moore of UNLV. New Mexico's Spencer is ranked No. 2 nationally while BYU's Oscar Alvarez and Greg Machtaler are ranked 13th and 19th respectively.

Along with Alvarez and Machtaler, BYU brings a talented and deep squad to this year's tournament. Sophomore Nick Becker who finished in third place at 12-under-par at the PING Cougar Classic has been hot the last month, while senior Ron Harvey Jr. and sophomore Jake Ellison have also turned in solid results this spring. With this squad, BYU hopes to earn it's 23rd conference title and its first since 2001.

The tournament runs April 28-30 on the Crosswater Course (Par 72/7,568) at the Sunriver Resort. The winner of the Mountain West Conference Championship receives the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Live scoring is available at www.golfstat.com and www.themwc.com.