By Jeff Harris
The BYU men’s golf team finished its season when the men failed to make the 36-hole cut as the NCAA championship tournament went from 30 teams down to 15.
The Cougars knew they were in trouble after the first round when they finished the day tied for 25th at 11 over par, and couldn’t rebound in the second round in which they shot 6 over par, finishing in 28th place.
The BYU men were 11 shots back from the 15th place team, and 36 shots off the tournament lead.
BYU’s head coach Bruce Brockbank was disappointed with the finish.
“Finishing this way sure leaves a bad taste in your mouth. No one played well. We struggled all week with the putter,” Brockbank said.
No BYU golfer was able to finish the first two rounds under par. None of them were among the top 50 individuals.
Sophomore Manuel Merizalde had the best score for the Cougars, finishing the 36 holes at three over par, tied for 72nd place, followed by senior Jose Garrido at four over par, tied for 86th.
Team captain Andy Miller, in his last tournament as a Cougar, finished seven over par and tied for 120th.
The BYU team was ranked sixth in the nation going into the tournament and had recorded more tournament victories than any other Division I school this season. As the season ended, however, the team teetered back and forth between excellent performances and what Brockbank called sloppy play.
In the team’s last six tournaments, they alternated first and second places with disappointing finishes. The Cougars won the Morris Williams Intercollegiate, then finished ninth at the Western Intercollegiate. They bounced back to win the Ben Hogan Classic, only to perform poorly and finish fourth at the Mountain West Conference Championships. After a solid second-place finish at the Western Regionals, it appeared to have been the Cougars turn to play poorly again.