BYU men’s golf off to solid season start

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Sophomore Austin Banz looks on after a swing at the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate on Oct. 8. (BYU Photo)

The BYU men’s golf team is off to a strong start to the season, placing in the top five as a team in each of its first three tournaments.

“We’ve got a heck of a good team this year, so we’re excited about that,” said BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank. “We’ve got a lot of great kids who are working hard and having some success, so hopefully we can just keep working hard and continue to get better.”

The Cougars placed first overall at the Tucker Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Sept. 28–29. BYU junior Peter Kuest tied for first individually and was the only player at the invitational who shot under 70 in each of the three rounds. BYU had three other players finish in the top 20: freshman Carson Lundell (T6), junior Rhett Rasmussen (T9), and sophomore Kelton Hirsch (T19).

BYU finished second overall in its second tournament of the season at the Watney Invitational in Madera, California, on Oct. 1–2. The team finished only one stroke behind the tournament champion, Nevada. Lundell finished second overall individually and shot a 65 in his third round, which was tied for the lowest score of any round that tournament.

Although Lundell is only a few months returned from his two-year mission, Brockbank said he is pleased with how well he has started his college career at BYU.

“We were hoping Carson would come off his mission and fill a void for us,” Brockbank said. “He’s done a phenomenal job. I don’t think we’ve had a missionary come back and do what Carson’s done.”

BYU went on to finish fourth overall in its most recent tournament at the Jerry Pate National Collegiate in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, on Oct. 8–9. Kuest once again led the Cougars with a third-place finish individually, while Lundell finished tied for 11th.

Kuest’s recent performances led him to be named the West Coast Conference Golfer of the Month for September. Although Kuest and the Cougars have been off to a good start, he said they still have room to improve.

Peter Kuest looks on after hitting a ball at the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate on Oct. 9. (BYU Photo)

“We’ve been really good, but we can still be a lot better,” Kuest said. “And that’s the scary part … we can still go out and win with our B-game. If we have our A-game though, then it’s going to be pretty scary for the other teams.”

Sophomore Austin Banz said he feels this year’s team can keep up its early success.

“I feel like we’re all pretty mature and mentally sound,” Banz said. “We do a good job at keeping our head in the game and not getting too frustrated. We’ve just got a bunch of really good ball-strikers.”

The Cougars’ next tournament is on Oct. 25–27, when they will participate in the Pacific Invitational in Madera, California.

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