HOT SPRINGS -- Amidst heavy rains, BYU finished ninth while sophomore Oscar Alvarez finished 17th individually at the 2004 NCAA Division I Golf Championship on Friday.
The Cougars earned their best NCAA finish since 1999, when they also finished in ninth at the NCAA Championship. This was BYU's 19th top 10 finish in NCAA Golf Championship history.
With the top four scores counting towards the final team score, the Cougars were hurt by having to count a 10-over-par 80 on the final day. BYU's top three scores came in strong, but with two golfers struggling on the final day, the Cougars were forced to count an 80 towards the team total moving BYU outside the top five teams. Early in the day, BYU was as high as third place, but on the back nine the fourth score continued to push BYU back in the pack.
"We had a good tournament and I'm pleased with being in the top 10, but it's a little frustrating knowing we could have easily finished in the top five," BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said. "If we don't have to count an 80 we could have finished as high as third place, which would have been nice."
California came back from an eight-stroke difference to win its first national championship after UCLA went 13-over-par on the final day to fall back to second place. UNLV's Ryan Moore claimed individual honors, winning by six strokes at an incredible 13-under-par.
Oscar Alvarez led the Cougars throughout the tournament, finishing the fourth round with a two-over-par 72 and in 17th place overall at four-over-par. The Sophomore from Colombia earned his eighth-straight top-20 finish playing against the top collegiate golfers in the nation.
"Oscar played like a champ," Brockbank said. "He was big-time the whole tournament and probably played his way into an All-American citation."
Junior Todd Miller finished a solid tournament with a three-over-par 73 and tied for 30th place. Greg Machtaler ended the tournament with an impressive 70 (even par). The Junior from Canada was able to fight through the rain and shoot his best score of the tournament to finish in 44th place. Ron Harvey Jr. and Jake Ellison struggled on the final day and finished in 65th and 52nd place respectively.
"I think this tournament was a great learning experience and gave us a taste of what it takes to get back here next year," Brockbank said. "Hopefully the way we finished will fuel the fire to be a contender again next year."
With the ninth-place finish, BYU solidified its position as one of the top men's golf programs in the nation, and with the Cougars returning all of their top seven golfers next season, the future certainly looks bright for years to come.
2004 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
1. California (+14) 279-289-287-279--1134
2. UCLA (+20) 289-283-275-293--1140
3. Arizona (+28) 292-281-283-292--1148
4. Texas (+29) 288-286-289-286--1149
5. Georgia Tech (+31) 289-285-287-290--1151
6. Florida (+32) 285-289-284-294--1152
6. Washington (+32) 289-282-285-296--1152
8. Kentucky (+35) 283-286-283-303--1155
9. Brigham Young (+36) 280-290-291-295--1156
10. Pepperdine (+40) 295-276-289-300--1160
11. Georgia (+41) 285-302-284-290--1161
11. Georgia State (+41) 292-280-297-292--1161
13. Oklahoma State (+44) 292-289-289-294--1164
14. Texas A&M (+47) 291-292-284-300--1167
15. Penn State (+50) 289-291-290-300--1170
BYU INDIVIDUAL SCORES
T17. Oscar Alvarez 70-72-70-72--284 (+4)
T30. Todd Miller 69-73-74-73--289 (+9)
T44. Greg Machtaler 74-75-75-70--294 (+14)
T52. Jake Ellison 70-72-72-82--296 (+16)
T65. Ron Harvey Jr. 71-73-76-80--300 (+20)
Full results at www.golfstat.com
PROVO -- Brigham Young University men's golf team returns to the NCAA Championship on Tuesday June 1-4 at the Homestead Resort's Cascades Golf Course in Hot Springs, Va.
The No. 10 Cougars have a long history of success at the NCAA Golf Championship, but have not earned an invitation since 2000. BYU has earned 12 top-5 finishes and 18 top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championship including a national championship in 1981. BYU's last top-10 finish came in 1999 when the Cougars, led by All-Americans Andy Miller and Manuel Merizalde, finished 7th. The last top-5 finish came in 1986. This is BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank's third trip to the NCAA finals.
"With all the parity in college golf these days, it feels great to get back here (NCAA Championship)," Brockbank said. "This is a tremendous opportunity for our program."
BYU is coming off a fifth-place finish at last weekend's NCAA West Regional in Sunriver, Ore. At the NCAA regional the Cougars got off to a great start and actually led the tournament after 27 holes, but after shooting 18-over-par on the final day they fell back to fifth. With the fifth-place finish, the Cougars earned a coveted invitation to the NCAA Championship.
BYU was led byu All-Mountain West Conference selection Oscar Alvarez, who finished tied for fourth overall at last week's NCAA West Regional. The Sophomore from Colombia has been red hot this spring earning seven consecutive top 20 finishes and three consecutive top 10 finishes. He is joined by fellow first-team All-MWC selections Greg Machtaler and Jake Ellison as well as Juniors Ron Harvey Jr. and Todd Miller.
The Cougars will be paired with No. 1-ranked Florida and the No. 9 Texas Longhorns. Both teams also placed fifth at their respective NCAA regionals. BYU, Florida and Texas will tee off at 1:30 p.m. on the 10th tee on Tuesday's first round and at 8:30 a.m. on the first tee on Wednesday.
Fans call follow the tournament live on the internet with live scoring at www.golfstat.com all tournament long.
The field for the 2004 NCAA Men's Golf Championship consists of 30 teams and six individuals. Clemson, Kentucky and UCLA won their respective regionals and will be the top seeds.
East Regional Teams:
Bill Haas (Wake Forest)
Aron Price (Georgia Southern)
Central Regional Teams:
A.J. Elgert (Kansas State)
Jeff Overton (Indiana)
West Regional Teams:
Ryan Moore (UNLV)
Chris Baryla (UTEP)
The Cascades Course: Homestead Resort
Consistently ranked among Golf Digest's and Golf Magazine's top fifty courses, this William S. Flynn design is touted as the finest mountain course in America. It is best said that Flynn's design uses its mountain location to influence play, but not to dictate it. Therefore, talented players can use the slopes and roll to their advantage, but less skilled golfers will not find themselves penalized by forced carries or unfair hazard placement.
Yardage/Par: Par 70 / 6,679 yards.
Opened in 1923, it has hosted seven USGA Championships. The most recent being in 2000 as the Cascades hosted the U.S. Men's Mid-Amateur. The Cascades also has been the site of such prestigious PGA events as the 1995 and 1996 Senior PGA TOUR Shoot-Out Championships.
SITE OF: 1928 USGA Women's Amateur Championship - 1932 National Intercollegiate Championship - 1966 Curtis Cup - 1967 Women's National Open - 1980 USGA Senior Men's Championship - 1988 USGA Men's Amateur Championship - 1994 USGA Women's Amateur Championship - 1995 Merrill Lynch PGA Senior TOUR Shoot-Out Championship - 1996 Merrill Lynch PGA Senior TOUR Shoot-Out Championship - 2000 USGA U.S. Men's Mid-Amateur Championship - 2004 NCAA Division I Men's Championships.
BYU'S SUCCESS AT THE NCAA TOURNAMENT