BYU’s men’s and women’s golf teams will both compete in their second tournaments of the season this week.
The women are set to play in the Cougar Cup in Pullman, Wash., and the men are attending the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate in Albuquerque, N.M.
Women expect improvement
With her team coming off of a fifth-place finish last week at Hobble Creek G.C. in Springville, women’s golf coach Carrie Roberts is optimistic that the Cougars will do even better this time around.
“We’re working hard. We are doing a lot of good things, and we expect to finish a little bit higher in this next tournament,” Roberts said.
Last week at the Hobble Creek Classic, starting freshman Annie Yang and individual competitor Brooklyn Anderson lived up to Roberts’ expectations.
“They adjust and do better,” Roberts said. “We started within a week of school starting so we asked a lot of them, and I think they did very well and will continue to exceed our expectations and continue to do well.”
The women have been preparing for their upcoming tournament and are excited to tee off at a familiar course. Last year three of their starting five played in this tournament in Pullman and tied for 10th place with Santa Clara. They shot a combined 65-over-par.
“Washington State is hosting; they’re always a really great team,” Roberts said. “Gonzaga, they’re in our conference, they’ll be fun to play again. Looking forward to just playing them all and seeing how we stack up.”
After winning medalist honors at Hobble Creek, Lea Garner is prepared to play well again.
“Lea just has confidence; I wouldn’t say pressure,” Roberts said. “Hopefully she won’t put expectations on herself, but if anything she’s got confidence and she knows she can play well and finish well in any tournament now. If anything it’s a huge confidence boost.”
Men’s team counts on depth
The men’s golf team kicked off the season with a fifth-place finish as well, tying with Saint Mary’s. After losing two-time All-American Zac Blair, the Cougars are trying to step in and fill the void. Coach Bruce Brockbank is confident that the team has enough depth to see success this season.
“We have a lot of depth, so I’m hoping we have some consistent scores from one-through-five at tournaments rather than just rely on one guy,” Brockbank said. “I’m hoping that all five of our guys will be very productive in turning in good-quality scores.”
After placing second individually in the tournament Sept. 16 and 17, sophomore Joe Parkinson has not let the pressure of his win get the best of him.
“He’s pretty unique,” Brockbank said. “Last week was last week. It was a great win, but he’s back at practicing hard, trying to get ready to maybe win the next one.”
Although this course in New Mexico is long and hard, it is familiar to the team. BYU men’s golf has been attending this tournament for at least a half century.
“I don’t want to date ourselves, but it’s a course that we’ve played for at least the last 50 years or more,” Brockbank said. “This is a tournament that coach (Karl) Tucker always went to, and it’s a tournament that I have always been to. This will be my 22nd year going back to Albuquerque.”
Teams the Cougars are looking forward to facing at the tournament include Arizona State, Arizona, New Mexico and TCU.
“We’ve played pretty good on this golf course, so I’m hoping that we will go down and do the same,” Brockbank said. “I’d love to be in a position to maybe win the golf tournament after two rounds. We’ll have to play extremely well, but we’re very capable of that.”