Men’s Golf 2019-20 Season Review
PROVO, Utah — The No. 16 BYU men’s golf team won three tournaments and recorded the lowest single-season 54-hole stroke average in program history during the shortened 2019-20 campaign.
“It was obviously disappointing to have the season end the way it did,” BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said. “I especially feel for our seniors. They played some great golf this year. Peter Kuest’s record speaks for itself. He’s one of the top players in the country. Rhett Rasmussen also had a very consistent year. Spencer Dunaway played some really good golf as of late. Each one of the guys on the team have helped our team’s success this year. This team was arguably one of the best we’ve ever had at BYU.”
Despite not competing in their final three regular season tournaments due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Cougars took first in three of the eight tournaments they did compete in. The three tournament wins tied for the fourth most in program history.
In addition, this season’s team finished the year with an 849 54-hole stroke average, the lowest in team history.
BYU opened the season with a first-place tie at the William H. Tucker Invitational after shooting a 10-under 854. The Cougars then went on to win their following event, the Nick Watney Invitational. BYU shot a total score of 822 (-30) at Watney, tying the fourth lowest 54-hole score in team history. BYU once again tied for first place in its third tournament of the season, the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate, with an 823 (-17). The Cougars’ second-round 265 (-15) at the tournament tied the lowest 18-hole score in program history.
The team went on to place in the top-three in three of its remaining five events before having its season cut short. BYU’s highest ranking of the season came towards the end of the fall campaign, when Golfstat ranked the Cougars as the No. 5 team in the country.
Kuest ended his college career with one of the most successful individual seasons in team history. The Fresno, California native tallied three tournament wins on the season, upping his career total to 10. Kuest also recorded the best single-season stroke average in school history with a 69.42, beating his own record from last season (69.79).
Kuest started off the season by shooting a tournament-record 200 (-16) at the Tucker Invitational and winning the event by nine strokes. He followed up his record performance by tying for first place at the following tournament, the Watney Invitational, with another 200 (-13). Kuest earned another first-place finish in the final fall event of the season, the Saint Mary’s Invitational, with a 202 (-11). Apart from his three wins, Kuest recorded four other top-10 finishes on the season and was ranked the No. 1 NCAA golfer by Golfstat for the majority of the fall campaign.
Fellow senior Rasmussen also ended his college career with one of the more successful individual seasons in program history. Rasmussen recorded the third lowest single-season stroke average in school history with a 69.89 and placed in the top-11 in five of the six tournaments he competed in. The Draper, Utah native also qualified for the Mackenzie Tour – PGA Tour Canada after placing third at the USA Central Q-School in February.
Sophomore Carson Lundell tallied three top-20 finishes on the year while boasting a 72.13 stroke average. The Alpine, Utah native’s best finish of the season came at the Pate Intercollegiate, where he tied for fourth. Junior Kelton Hirsch posted two top-20 finishes during the 2019-20 campaign, his best finish also coming at the Pate Intercollegiate, where he tied for ninth.
Freshman Cole Ponich started in seven of the Cougars’ eight tournaments this season and recorded his best result at the Saint Mary’s Invitational, where he tied for 16th. Junior Brock Stanger competed in five events as an individual and one as a starter.
Dunaway competed in two tournaments as a starter and one as an individual, the Coronado Individual. He ended his college career by tying for first at Coronado with a four-under 212.
In addition to losing seniors Kuest, Rasmussen and Dunaway this offseason, juniors Kelton Hirsch and Chad Hardy will likely move on from the team as well, as both are planning to graduate this year. BYU will return starters Carson Lundell and Cole Ponich for the 2020-21 campaign.