BYU's Daniel Summerhays becomes the first BYU Cougar to finish in the top 5 at the National Championship in over two decades.
WILLIAMSBURG -- BYU's Daniel Summerhays fired an even par 70 on his final round of the NCAA Championship to finish tied for fourth place individually on Saturday.
Summerhays closed out his junior season in impressive fashion, earning BYU's best individual finish in over two decades of golf with a five-under-par 275 (74-63-68-70--275), good for fourth place individually.
"He hit the ball as well today as he did yesterday, but he just couldn't get his putts to fall," BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said. "It's been a while since we've had someone come this close to winning the national championship. This kid has all kinds of potential."
Coming into the final round, Summerhays was just one shot off the lead, but putts just were falling in on a course where he holds the course record--set back in the fall of 2006. After a bogey on No. 7 and on No. 10 put him at two over par, Summerhays stayed patient and made two big birdies on 16 and 17 to finish off on a high note.
"I thought coming in to today I might earn a national championship," Summerhays said. "It was a great week and I really like how I finished and how I maintained an aggressive mindset all day today. I was just missing my putts, but I stayed patient and was rewarded in the end."
On the difficult Golden Horseshoe Course, very few of the nation's best college golfers were able to stay below par. Of the 81 golfers who made the cut, only 20 finished the tournament under par. Stanford claimed their first national title since Tiger Woods in 1994 while Jamie Lovemark of USC claimed the individual title at nine-under-par. Summerhays ended the day just four strokes back winning the biggest tournament in Amatuer golf.
"Playing against the best amateur golfers in the world, it's good to know where I stand and what I'm capable off," Summerhays said. "I'm going to be playing in about 10 big amateur tournaments this summer and I hope to keep it going."
With his top five finish at the national championship tournament, Summerhays made a great case to earn First-Team All-American honors.
"I think he played his way into a First-Team All-American spot," Brockbank said. "He deserves it. He's been phenomenal all year long and especially this weeks, so I hope he gets it.
All-American citations will not be awarded till next week, but Summerhays is certainly deserving. Summerhays finished seventh or better in 10 out of BYU's 14 events on the season including one victory. Also seven out of the last 13 rounds he has played he has scored in the 60s. Summerhays also finished the season ranked fourth by Golfstat and 12th by Golfweek. If he get the first-team nod, he will be the first Cougar to earn the first-team honor since Brent Franklin in 1986.