BYU finishes fourth at NCAA Championships
OWINGS MILLS -- BYU soared to fourth place on the final day of the 2005 NCAA Golf Championship after going five-under-par 275--the best final round of any team in the field on Saturday.
BYU's fourth place finish is it's best finish since 1986 when it also finished fourth at the national championship. The Cougars' rise to fourth place on the final day was a product of the second lowest round of any team in the entire tournament. Led my senior Ron Harvey, Jr.'s five-under-par 65, the Cougars jumped from 11th place to fourth place on the final day.
"I couldn't be happier with this team," BYU senior Greg Machtaler said. "We showed what we were made of today; we played an awesome round of golf. What a way to go out, I knew we could do it."
Seniors Machtaler and Harvey led a spirited team meeting the night before Saturday's final round that inspired the Cougars to one of their best rounds of the season in the biggest tournament of the season.
"This is a good a round as we have played all year long," BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said. "To have it be in the final round of the national championship is a real testament to this team. These guys are as good a team as I've ever worked with. They work hard, they love each other, and are a special group of young men."
BYU had three players among the top 30 individual finishers. Harvey, who posted the second-lowest round of any individual in the field, moved from 39th to 16th place. His 65 was arguably the most important round shot by any Cougar during the season.
"To shoot 65 on this course if simply amazing," Machtaler said. "I'm so happy to see Ron have such an amazing finish to his career."
Junior Oscar Alvarez finished the tournament with a fourth-round even par 70 and in a tie for seventh place individually. He placed 17th at last year's NCAA Championship, and for the second consecutive year, he was BYU's top golfer at the National Championship.
Machtaler also finished his BYU career in style with a one-over-par 71. He finished tied for 27th place at 10-ovr-par for the tournament. Sophomore Jake Ellison had the Cougars' second-best final round. He carded a one-under-par 69 to finish tied for 47th place at 15-over-par for the tournament.
Georgia claimed the 2005 National Championship with a nine-stroke victory over second-place Georgia Tech. Former BYU assistant coach and BYU Academic All-American Matt Thurmond led his Washington Huskies to a third place finish, just one stroke ahead of the fourth-place Cougars.
The Cougars finished ahead of Mountain West Conference Champion New Mexico, NCAA West Regional Champion UNLV, and No. 1 ranked Oklahoma State.
"We put it all together today," Brockbank said. "I'm so proud of this team. We proved today that our ranking was legit. What a tremendous finish to a great season."
This was BYU's 13th top five finish in the history of the program and the first since 1991. Brockbank earned his first top finish in his 13 year career as head coach at BYU.
TEAM FINAL SCORES
1. Georgia 274-284-297-280--1135 +15
2. Georgia Tech 288-281-295-282--1146 +26
3. Washington 289-285-303-276--1153 +33
4. BYU 285-290-304-275--1154 +34
5. New Mexico 289-300-291-278--1158 +38
6. USC 290-282-303-284--1159 +39
7. Kentucky 291-292-294-284--1161 +41
8. UNLV 284-290-302-286--1176 +42
8. Duke 288-286-303-285--1162 +42
10. Augusta State 286-289-302-287--1174 +44
11. Arizona State 291-285-301-293--1170 +50
11. Tennessee 279-288-313-290--1170 +50
13. Georgia State 287-287-305-294--1173 +53
13. Georgia Southern 286-298-299-290--1173 +53
15. Oklahoma State 292-289-301-296--1178 +58
BYU Individual Scores
T7. Oscar Alvarez 67-71-75-70--283 +3
T16. Ron Harvey, Jr. 72-72-77-65--286 +6
T27. Greg Machtaler 74-71-74-71--290 +10
T47. Jake Ellison 72-76-78-69--295 +15
80. Nick Becker 79-77-83-73--312 +32