One of the longest streaks in sports, at least in these parts, will be on the line this weekend in Provo. It's the Cougar Classic golf tournament, which host BYU has owned since 1968. To give you an idea how long its been since any other team has won it - most of the players in this year's tourney weren't even born the last time a non-BYU team (Arizona State in 1968) won it. BYU has won 23 of the 26 tournaments since 1963.
The streak has become an issue since the Cougar golf team has fallen on lean times the past couple of years. Remember last year, the University of Utah beat the Cougars on their home course at the WAC championships. And this year there will be 12 teams chasing the Cougars, including locals Utah, Utah State, and Weber State, along with New Mexico, Wyoming, UNLV, Colorado, Boise State, Cal-Santa Barbara, San Jose State, Stanford and Cal-Berkeley. Last month seven of the teams competed in the Western Intercollegiate and New Mexico, San Jose State and UNLV all finished ahead of BYU while Cal, Utah and Weber trailed the Cougars.But don't count Karl Tucker's Cougars out. The freshman-dominated squad has been coming on strong in recent weeks and will be ready to keep the streak alive.
The 54-hole tourney will be played Friday and Saturday at Riverside Golf Course.
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ANOTHER PGA EVENT IN UTAH?
The past few years we've had several "minor league" golf tours such as the Tournament Players Series, the Pro Golf Tour, and various satellite tours. None have made it largely because of a lack of sponsors.
Starting in 1990, there will be a tour sponsored by the PGA Tour and the Ben Hogan Company. It will be called the Ben Hogan Tour and it will consist of 30 events with minimum purses of $100,000. The tournaments will feature 54 holes Friday through Sunday, preceded by a Thursday pro-am. The field size will be 132 with a cut to the low 50 scorers after 36 holes.
There's no word yet as to where the events will be played, but word comes from Jeff Beaudry, the executive director of the Utah Section PGA, that there have already been talks about holding an event in Utah.