Summerhays Leads BYU to PING Classic Title

Junior Daniel Summerhays came back from a five-shot deficit to win his first collegiate tournament title Saturday at the PING Cougar Classic. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Junior Daniel Summerhays recorded his first collegiate tournament victory Saturday as the No. 15 BYU men's golf team rode a 14-stroke lead to victory at the PING Cougar Classic, carding a final-round 282 to take the title by 15 strokes over runner-up Nevada.

"This was an exciting day of golf," said BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank. "The kids really played hard and left it all out there. They did a great job."

While the Cougars had little difficulty sewing up the team title at Riverside Country Club for the second straight year with a total team score of 832 to finish 32-under par, a battle emerged on Saturday for the individual crown between two of BYU's best.

Senior Jake Ellison entered the final round with a four-shot lead overall and a five-stroke advantage over teammate Summerhays after tallying rounds of 66 and 67 on Friday. But it was Summerhays who had the magic on Saturday as he put up a 67 while Ellison shot a 73, giving Summerhays his first career title with a total tournament score of 205. The individual Cougar victory marked BYU's first Cougar Classic individual tournament title since 2000.

"Anytime you have two of your own guys battling for first place, you know your team is doing well," said Brockbank. "Jake is the reason we had such a big lead going into the final round, but he had a mediocre day and Daniel got going. That's the way the game is played."

Summerhays did indeed get it going in his final round as he birded two of his first five holes and benefited from an Ellison bogie on No. 3 to cut the lead to just two strokes. After both players pared the sixth hole, Summerhays recorded the first of his two eagles on the day at No. 7, going one shot better than Ellison on the hole to get to within one stroke. However, two bogies to finish out the front nine left Summerhays three shots back of Ellison with nine holes to play.

Ellison left the door wide open with three straight bogies on Nos. 10, 11 and 12 while Summerhays birdied No. 10 to tie things up. Another eagle for Summerhays on No. 13 gave him as much as a three-stroke lead over Ellison but the senior veteran refused to give up, getting back to within one stroke and getting a chance to tie with a four-foot birdie opportunity on No. 17. But the putt went just wide as both players pared the final two holes to give Summerhays the single-stroke victory.

"It was a fun day," said Summerhays. "I overcame some challenges and made some good putts. It's hard to go up against one of my best friends, but I'm happy to get my first college victory."

Several other Cougars also enjoyed solid tournament performances as BYU's Clay Ogden and Robbie Fillmore tied for 14th with scores of 213. Cougar Nick Killpack, competing individually, finished tied for sixth at 211 while teammate Brady Johnson, also competing individually, was one shot back at 212, tied for 10th. The top non-BYU finisher in the field was New Mexico's Charlie Beljan, a frontrunner for Mountain West Conference Player of the Year honors, who finished in third with a total tournament score of 207.

With regular-season play now concluded, the Cougars will head to Tucson, Ariz., next week for the MWC Championship followed by NCAA Regionals and Finals.

Ping Golf Cougar Classic

Final Results

Fin. School Scores

1 Brigham Young 272 278 282 832 -32

2 Nevada 282 282 283 847 -17

3 Colorado State 285 289 282 856 -8

4 Texas El Paso 293 281 287 861 -3

5 New Mexico 290 293 280 863 -1

6 Utah 287 291 290 868 +4

7 Denver 288 291 290 869 +5

8 New Mexico State 283 292 296 871 +7

9 UC Davis 282 304 292 878 +14

10 Hawaii 295 292 292 879 +15

11 Southern Utah 292 293 299 884 +20

Fresno State 293 295 296 884 +20

13 Boise State 304 291 294 889 +25

14 Wyoming 303 292 296 891 +27

Utah State 297 298 296 891 +27

16 Utah Valley State 304 295 295 894 +30

17 Air Force Academy 299 301 295 895 +31

18 Weber State 294 307 298 899 +35

19 Northern Colorado 297 301 303 901 +37

BYU Finishers

Fin. Name Scores

1 Daniel Summerhays 67 71 67 205 -11

2 Jake Ellison 66 67 73 206 -10

T6 Nick Killpack* 67 76 68 211 -5

T10 Brady Johnson* 71 68 73 212 -4

T14 Clay Ogden 72 69 72 213 -3

T14 Robbie Fillmore 67 71 75 213 -3

T36 Nick Becker 72 77 70 219 +3

T79 Brad Nicholson* 70 86 73 229 +13

* indicates BYU golfers competing individually

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