Anonymous | Posted: 7 May 2002 | Updated: 7 May 2002

Cougars to Play in NCAA West Regional

PROVO -- The BYU men's golf team has been selected to participate in the 2002 NCAA West Regional in Albuquerque, N.M., May 16-18. The Cougars, currently ranked No. 52 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, are seeded No. 22 in the 27-team field.

The tournament will consist of three 18-hole rounds on The Championship Course at the University of New Mexico, a par 72 course spreading over 7,368 yards.

"This is a very competitive field we're up against," head coach Bruce Brockbank said. "We have been playing some of our best golf as the season has progressed, though, and if we play like we're capable of playing, we should be right in hunt."

The field consists of top 10 teams, Texas (No. 5) and USC (No. 7) and top 25 teams, Washington (No. 13), Fresno State (No. 14), Pepperdine (No. 19), Arizona (No. 20), Minnesota (No. 23) and New Mexico (No. 24).

BYU senior All-American Manuel Merizalde and fellow senior Kyle Wight are the only current Cougars to have NCAA tournament experience

The Cougars finished the 2001 NCAA West Regional Tournament in a tie for 19th with New Mexico after a three round 904 (296-307-301). Merizalde finished in a tie for 96th after carding 230 (78-76-76), and Wight placed in a tie for 101, one shot behind Merizalde at 231 (72-83-76).

This will mark the fourth consecutive NCAA West Regional for Merizalde. His best career finish was in 1999, his freshman year, when he finished in a tie for 20th carding 220 (76-72-72). As a sophomore in 2000, Merizalde placed in a tie for 29th.

BYU has participated in all 12 NCAA regional tournaments since its inception 1991, and the Cougars have placed in the top 10 on five occasions (1991, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2000).

Play will begin each day with the first group teeing off at 7:12 a.m. (MDT), and the final group will start between 1:12 and 1:21 p.m.

There are three NCAA Regional Tournaments, East, West and Central, each consisting of 27 teams and six invited individuals. The top 10 finishing teams from each region will advance to take part in the NCAA Championship in Columbus, Ohio, May 29-June 1.

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