Team effort leads to BYU win at Watney Invitational
FRESNO, Calif. – BYU men’s golf won its first tournament of the season with a final-round score of 273 at the Nick Watney Invitational on Tuesday.
The 15-under-par closing round proved to be the best 18-hole team score of the tournament and gave the Cougars a three-round total of 833, good for a three-shot victory over WCC foe Loyola Marymount who finished in second at 836. The win gives BYU its first tournament championship since coming away victorious at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate in October 2019.
“We needed everybody to step-up this week and that’s exactly what happened,” said head coach Bruce Brockbank. “I’m just really excited for this team. They played so well on Monday to be in the hunt. To come out and do what they did today was just outstanding.”
Led by Carson Lundell's 6-under 66, all five Cougars posted under-par rounds on Tuesday. Cole Ponich shot 67, followed by David Timmins with 69, while Kelton Hirsch and Elijah Turner closed with 71s, giving BYU a 31-under-par 284-276-273—833 for the tournament.
Lundell’s three-round total of 68-69-66—203 tied him for first with Gavin Cohen of LMU. Although Lundell eventually lost in a playoff to Cohen for medalist honors, his third-round 66 tied his season-best single-round score.
In addition, Ponich finished tied for 4th and Timmins tied for 9th, both recording their first top-10 finishes as Cougars. Turner, who tied for 30th, posted the best tournament finish of his young Cougar career. Brock Stanger competed in the tournament as an individual and finished with a three-round score of 225.
BYU’s third round success pushed the Cougars ahead of WCC foes LMU and St. Mary’s who were in first and second place headed into the final round. The Gaels were ranked one spot ahead of BYU in the 2021 WCC Preseason Coaches Poll, while the Lions were ranked one spot behind.
“It’s so hard to win college golf tournaments because there are so many good teams and so many great players,” said Brockbank. “We have a long way to go, but this is just what the team needed. It’s a huge confidence-builder.”
BYU will return to competition at the Lamkin Invitational at the San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, California on March 8-9.
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