BYU in 3rd after two rounds at Watney Invitational
FRESNO, Calif. – BYU men’s golf is in third place following a strong second-round score of 276 at the Nick Watney Invitational on Monday at Sunnyside Country Club.
“It was nice to see the team make some birdies in the afternoon round,” said head coach Bruce Brockbank. “We played the kind of golf that we are capable of.”
BYU posted a 36-hole total of 284-276—560, after four Cougars carded scores under-par on the first day of the two-day event.
Junior Carson Lundell led the way for BYU with a two-round total of 68-69—137. The 7-under-par performance places Lundell in a tie for second with Idaho’s Jose Suryadinata. LMU’s Gavin Cohen leads the individual standings with a 36-hole, 8-under-par total of 136.
Sophomore Cole Ponich tied his single-round BYU career-low with a 4-under-par 68 in the second round. Like, Lundell, Ponich also finished Monday in the top-10 of the individual standings. His two-round total of 140, leaves the sophomore tied for 9th with 18 holes remaining on Tuesday.
“Carson and Cole played super,” said Brockbank. “It was fun to see Cole going in the afternoon with a 68 that included five birdies.”
Joining in the Cougar scoring was sophomore David Timmins with a 3-under-par 141 and senior Kelton Hirsch at 2-under-par 142. Sophomore Elijah Turner carded a 1-over-par 145 and senior Brock Stanger finished the day with two-round total of 152.
“Kelton and Carson made three birdies a piece on the back-nine when the team was tired after a long day of 36 holes,” said Brockbank. “They were outstanding when we needed it most.”
Heading into Tuesday’s final round, the Cougars are just two shots behind WCC foe St. Mary’s who is leading the field at 558. LMU is in second at 559, followed by BYU in third at 560. Pacific in fourth at 568 and Gonzaga in fifth at 570 to round out the top five.
Final round action will begin with a shotgun start on Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 8:30 a.m. PST.
Follow the Cougars final round with live stats from Golfstat.
Men’s golf set for second spring tournament in Fresno
FRESNO, California – BYU men’s golf will continue its spring season at the Nick Watney Invitational on Monday and Tuesday, February 8-9 at Sunnyside Country Club.
Since finishing 13th among a challenging field at the Arizona Intercollegiate two weeks ago, the Cougars have worked hard to improve.
“All five of our guys needed to find a way to make more putts,” said head coach Bruce Brockbank. “They have taken the challenge and from what I have seen this week seem more focused. A couple of guys stepped up and shot some better scores during the qualifying. I hope the preparation carries over to low scores in the tournament.”
Competing for the Cougars this week will be seniors Kelton Hirsch and Brock Stanger (individual), junior Carson Lundell, and sophomores David Timmins, Cole Ponich and Elijah Turner.
Turner, from Highland, Utah, will see his first action for the Cougars since November 5-6 at the Rustic Collegiate Classic in Moorpark, California, where he helped the team to a third-place finish.
Stanger, from Orem, Utah, is also playing in his first event of the spring. The senior recorded his best performance of the season with a three-round score of 69-72-71—212 at the Pasadera Collegiate Invitational on October 5-6 in Monterey, California.
Hirsch (222), Lundell (222), Timmins (225) and Ponich (226) all competed in the first event of the spring at the Arizona Intercollegiate.
The Cougars opponents at this week’s Nick Watney Invitational include host Fresno State, Long Beach State, Seattle, Idaho, and WCC-foes St. Mary’s, Gonzaga, Pacific and Loyola Marymount.
The field provides the Cougars with a valuable opportunity to improve their standing in the WCC. When the conference’s preseason coaches poll was released on Feb. 2, St. Mary’s was ranked just ahead of the Cougars at fourth, while Loyola Marymount was behind at sixth, with Pacific and Gonzaga ranked last.
BYU’s recent action against these WCC opponents includes finishing two shots ahead of LMU in the Arizona Intercollegiate and coming up 18 shots ahead of St. Mary’s in the Rustic Collegiate Classic on November 5-6.
The Cougars are no stranger to the Watney Invitational. In October 2019, BYU won the tournament behind a third-round score of 268 — the third lowest 18-hole team total in program history.
Follow the Cougars’ stats as they tee-off from Fresno on Monday, Feb. 8 with a shotgun start at 8:35 a.m. PST.