BYU golf: eighth-place finish at NCAA Regional concludes Cougars season

By Chris Scheitinger

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, May 18 2013 6:57 p.m. MDT

PULLMAN, Wash. — Sophomore Devon Purser shot a final round 3-under 69 to lead BYU to an eighth-place finish Saturday at the NCAA Golf Championships Pullman Regional.

Entering the final round at 3-under-par, the Cougars shot a final round 286 (-2) team score and a 54-hole total 859 (-5) to finish in the eighth spot during a cold and windy day at Palouse Ridge Golf Club. At 5-under-par, BYU finished one stroke better than ninth place Memphis (-4) and one stroke behind seventh place Pacific (-6) in the 14-team field.

“The goal was to come up here and advance to the championship and we fell short unfortunately,” BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said. “The whole week was a little bit like the way it ended up. We played good enough today. We just couldn’t keep the birdies. We made 19 birdies and an eagle today and ended up shooting 2-under-par.”

The Cougars narrowly missed advancing to the finals, coming up three strokes short from tying for the fifth place spot to enter a playoff with Ball State (-8) and San Diego State (-8). Ball State won the playoff hole by one stroke earning the fifth place standing needed to advance to the finals.

No. 1 California won the Pullman regional shooting an 821 (-43) team score. No. 11 TCU finished in second place at 23-under-par followed by No. 24 Saint Mary’s (-22) and No. 13 Southern California (-20).

Purser shot a solid 3-under-par 69 final round to lead the Cougars on the day. The Clearfield sophomore carded four birdies and dropped one bogey in his best round of the tournament. Purser finished the tournament at 2-under-par to tie for 23rd place.

Zac Blair had another consistent day on the links, carding an even-par 72 during Saturday’s third and final round. Blair recorded three birdies and 13 pars on the day, finishing the tournament at 4-under-par to tie for 16th place.

Junior Jordan Hammer matched Blair’s third round shooting a 72 of his own. Hammer made five birdies and nine pars during round three and finished the tournament at 2-over-par to tie for 46th on the individual leader board.

Justin Keiley and Joe Parkinson shot final rounds of 73 (+1) and 74 (+2), respectively. Keiley carded two birdies and an eagle and finished the tournament tied for 41st at 1-over-par. Parkinson shot five birdies through his opening eight holes during Saturday’s third round and finished the tournament tied for 62nd place at 8-over-par.

Finishing 10 of 13 tournaments in the top five and competing in their first NCAA regional since the 2009-10 season, the Cougars will look to build upon this year’s experience entering the 2013-14 season. None of the Cougar golfers qualified to compete in the finals as an individual.

“The guys did a great job,” Brockbank said. “We’ve played eight tournaments now since February and haven’t finished out of the top three other than this week. We won twice, but I got to hand it to them.”

Follow live stats of the remainder of the 2013 NCAA Golf Championships from Atlanta, Ga., on May 28-June 2 on golfstat.com.

Individual scores

T16 Zac Blair, 68, 72, 72, -4

T23 Devon Purser, 72, 73, 69, -2

T41 Justin Keiley, 73, 71, 73, +1

T46 Jordan Hammer, 71, 75, 72, +2

T62 Joe Parkinson, 71, 79, 74, +8

Team scores

1 California, -43

2 TCU, -23

3 Saint Mary's (CA), -22

4 Southern California, -20

T5 Ball State, -8

T5 San Diego State, -8

7 Pacific, -6

8 Brigham Young, -5

9 Memphis, -4

T10 Baylor, -3

T10 Virginia Tech, -3

12 North Texas, +1

13 Princeton, +15

14 St. Francis (Pa.), +63

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

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