BYU golf: Blair and Cougars victorious at Desert Shootout

By Chris Scheitinger

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, March 23 2013 7:57 p.m. MDT

GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Zac Blair caught fire and shot a season-best 64 to lead BYU to its first tournament victory of the season at the Desert Shootout Saturday.

BYU shot a final round 279 (-5), the lowest team score on the day. The Cougars finished the 54-hole tournament at 14-under-par with an 838 total team score, 10 strokes better than second place Denver (-4). Baylor finished in third place, 12 strokes behind the Cougars at two-under-par.

"The guys just played great today," BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said. "It was really a challenging day. This golf course was really hard and the greens were fast. Zac just played an incredible round of golf. That 64 was awesome."

Blair had a stellar final round, making five birdies, one eagle and no bogeys on the day to go seven-under-par. He finished the tournament at 15-under-par, seven strokes in front of second place Hunter Sparks (-8) of Wichita State.

"I played pretty solid," Blair said. "I putted pretty well and shot the ball good, so it was just an overall good day and good tournament."

Junior Justin Keiley shot another solid round for the Cougars, shooting a one-over-par 72 during the final round. Keiley ended the tournament at two-under-par to tie for sixth place on the individual leaderboard.

Stepping up during the final round to help boost the Cougars to victory, sophomore Devon Purser shot a third round 70 (-1), his lowest score of the tournament. Purser moved up 20 spots in the individual standings during the final round to finish the tournament tied for 12th place at even-par.

Junior Jordan Hammer had a strong finish for the Cougars, birdying two of his last four holes to shoot a final round 73 (+2). Hammer went eight-over par on the tournament to tie for 56th place. Freshman Joe Parkinson went four-over-par during the final round and shot a 75. He tied for 45th place, going six-over-par on the tournament.

“Our maturity won out today," Brockbank said. "The guys hung in there even though how difficult it was. It was really an exciting day.”

The Cougars will look to carry their momentum into the upcoming West Coast Conference Golf Championships April 15-17. Live stats of the tournament from Bremerton, Wash., can be followed at golfstat.com.

Individual Scores

1 Zac Blair 66, 68, 64, -15

T6 Justin Keiley 70, 69, 72, -2

T12 Devon Purser 71, 72, 70, E

T45 Joe Parkinson 68, 76, 75, +6

T56 Jordan Hammer 73, 75, 73, +8

Team Scores

1 Brigham Young, -14

2 Denver, -4

3 Baylor, -2

T4 Southern Utah, +6

T4 Wichita State, +6

6 Nebraska, +7

7 Colorado State, +9

T8 Tulsa, +13

T8 Idaho, +13

T8 Air Force, +13

T8 Kansas, +13

12 Illinois, +14

13 New Mexico State, +22

14 Kansas State, +25

15 Wyoming, +35

16 Boise State, +39

Chris Scheitinger is a student at Brigham Young University studying Public Relations. Contact him at cscheitinger@gmail.com

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