A Remarkable Third Round Leads to Amazing Comeback Victory

Jake Ellison posted his best 54-hole total in his college career, a 12-under-par 204. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

HONOLULU -- Fourteenth-ranked BYU posted an impressive 18-under-par 270 to win the John H. Burns Invitational by eight strokes over seventh-ranked conference rival UNLV.

As frustrated as the Cougars were with their putting the first two days, the third and final round was a completely different story. They started making birdies early on and kept making them throughout the day. After 36 holes, BYU trailed UNLV by 10 strokes, but they quickly caught up to the Rebels by the second nine on Friday, and with a strong finish, ended up eight strokes ahead. BYU's 18-under-par final round was 15 strokes better than any other team in the field on Friday.

"The team caught fire today," said BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank, "They were focused, felt they could win and found a way to do it."

Posting his best 54-hole total in his college career (69-69-66--204), senior Jake Ellison led the team. He sunk a 25-foot birdie on hole 18 to put him in second individually and one shot from the lead.

"I had no clue I was so close to the leader," said Ellison, "I just tried to play my game. It would have been nice to win, but I'm happy of how it turned out. It gives me great confidence."

Daniel Summerhays and Clay Ogden also played well, with Summerhays finishing 7-under-par and tied for 6th and Ogden 6-under-par and tied for 8th. Ellison, Summerhay and Ogden each posted better scores with each round and were key factors in the Cougars' amazing comeback. After a disappointing 76 the second round, Nick Becker came back with a three-under-par 69 to finish the tournament 5-under-par and tied for 13th place. BYU's top four individuals all placed among the top 15 individually. Freshman Robbie Fillmore posted a solid final-round 69 to finish tied for 44th at two-over par.

As individual competitors, Nick Killpack finished the tournament at five-over-par 221 and tied for 71st while Brad Nicholson finished tied for 116th at 18-under-par. SMU's Frank Wrenn claimed individual medalist honors with a 13-under 203 total, but couldn't help his team, the defending champions, as he was an individual competitor.

"What we did today is what it takes to win a college tournament," said Brockbank, "It's really exciting to see the guys play as well as they did. Their intensity was impressive, I'm proud of how they handled themselves out there."

The victory was BYU's second tournament victory this season and the 34th victory under head coach Bruce Brockbank. The Cougars will be back on the road the 26th and 27th of March at the Morris Williams in Austin, Texas.

TEAM SCORES

1 Brigham Young 279-285-270--834 (-30)

2 UNLV 277-277-288--842 (-22)

3 Texas A&M 287-282-286--855 (-9)

4 San Diego State 289-280-287--856 (-8)

5 Colorado State 284-289-285--858 (-8)

T6 Auburn 284-289-287--860 (-4)

T6 Arizona 294-281-285--860 (-4)

T8 Nevada 288-288-286--862 (-2)

T8 UC Santa Barbara 289-293-280--862 (-2)

10 SMU 289-285-289--863 (-1)

T11 Long Beach State 284-294-287--865 (+1)

T11 California 287-289-289--865 (+1)

13 Denver 287-286-297--870 (+6)

T14 San Diego 293-291-288--872 (+8)

T14 Arkansas 297-287-288--872 (+8)

16 New Mexico 287-297-290--874 (+10)

17 Utah 300-292-288--880 (+16)

18 Hawaii 298-295-290--883 (+19)

19 Fresno State 296-297-299--892 (+28)

20 Hawaii-Hilo 306-296-297--899 (+35)

21 UTEP 293-298-311--902 (+38)

DNF San Jose State 303-313-DNF--DNF

BYU INDIVIDUALS

2 Jake Ellison 69-69-66--204 (-12)

T6 Daniel Summerhays 72-69-68--209 (-7)

T8 Clay Ogden 72-71-67--210 (-6)

T13 Nick Becker 66-76-69--211 (-5)

T44 Robbie Fillmore 73-76-69--218 (+2)

T71 Nick Killpack* 72-76-73--221 (+5)

T116 Brad Nicholson* 78-80-76--234 (+18)

* competing as an individual

Tags: Results