Mike Sorensen: BYU's first NCAA title was memorable

Published: Monday, May 30 2011 12:39 a.m. MDT

Before the final round, I made the mistake of writing "the only thing certain after three rounds . . . was that a new champion would not be crowned" and that Blake "all but had his second consecutive NCAA individual title in the bag."

Whoops.

Unfortunately, with the Deseret News being an afternoon paper at the time, at about the time people were reading that story, Blake had already blown his five-stroke lead on the back nine and ended up with a final-round 76, one shot behind USC's Ron Commans.

It also wasn't fun when the editor of our paper chastised me on Monday for writing that Blake was a virtual shoo-in to win.

All these years later, it's interesting to look back and see how a home-grown golfer and a local team were the dominant stories at the '81 tournament, which included a field of at least five major championship winners in Tom Lehman, Paul Azinger, Bob Tway, Steve Jones and Mark Brooks, as well as several future PGA Tour winners such as Blaine McCallister, Joey Sindelar, Dan Forsman, Willie Wood, Bill Glasson and Tommy Armour III.

It was ages ago, but 30 years later, the 1981 NCAA golf tournament remains one of the most memorable sporting events I've ever covered.

email: sor@desnews.com

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