dbroberg | Posted: 22 Sep 2001 | Updated: 22 Sep 2001

Merizalde Wins Tucker Invitational

Albuquerque, N.M. (Sept. 22, 2001) -- BYU senior Manuel Merizalde came out of nowhere, shooting a third-round 66, to win the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate by three strokes Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M.

"I've seen a lot of great rounds over the years, but that was on of the best 66 rounds I have ever watched," said BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank. "Manuel really was phenomenal today against a very challenging field and a very

difficult course."

What Merizalde called some of his "most memorable holes", he started off the third round chipping it in for birdies on the first and second holes. "That's something you don't see very often," Merizalde said.

"I knew I had a chance going into the final round," Merizalde said. "I didn't have much pressure on myself so I went out and was able to play well. It was nice to come from behind to win."

Merizalde entered the third round four strokes off the lead in fifth place. Saturday he powered to a tournament low-round score of 66 to gain seven strokes on the leader, finishing at 209 (-7). This was the second consecutive individual win for the Cougars at the Tucker Intercollegiate, after Billy Harvey finished first for BYU last year.

Merizalde didn't have a single bogey on the day and defeated No. 1 Ricky Barnes of Arizona by 8 strokes. The win was the second of Merizalde's career, along with his 1999 WAC Championship win, and his third round 66 ties his career low round. Merizalde won the tournament after a strong second-place finish for the Cougars in their opener last week.

After winning the tournament the past two years, the Cougars placed ninth at 885 (+21). New Mexico ran away with its own tournament, winning for the first time in nine years with a three-round score of 859 (-5).

BYU senior Kyle Wight finished T13 shooting a 218 (+2) on the par-72 course played over 7,253 yards. "This probably was Kyle's best tournament of his career," Brockbank said. "He just played solid and consistent. This is going to be a huge confidence builder for him."

Berg Crawford shot a solid 74 on the last day to help secure a top-ten finish for BYU. "We needed him to step up and he came through in a big way for us today," Brockbank said.

Top Ten Finishers

1 New Mexico 278 294 287 859 -5

2 Pepperdine 291 289 290 870 +6

3 Arizona, U. of 288 298 285 871 +7

4 UNLV 292 292 288 872 +8

So. California 291 294 287 872 +8

6 SDSU 290 292 294 876 +12

7 Colorado, U. of 289 292 302 883 +19

8 Colorado St. 288 303 293 884 +20

9 BYU 298 297 290 885 +21

10 N.M. JV 293 302 291 886 +22

20 Teams competing

BYU Individual Scores

1 Manuel Merizalde 72 71 66 209 -7

T13 Kyle Wight 74 71 73 218 +2

T81 Berg Crawford 81 77 74 232 +16

T81 Chris Graham 75 80 77 232 +16

T89 Devin Heid 77 78 79 234 +18

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