After dominating the Cougar Classic for 30 years (winning 26 times), the BYU golf team hit a roadblock five years ago.
The Cougars suddenly stopped winning their own tournament and have gone without a victory more times in the past five years as they did in the first 30.However, after 36 holes of this year's 54-hole event at Riverside Country Club, the Cougars were on the verge of finally breaking the drought.
BYU two-round total of 574 Tuesday was just one shot behind leader Colorado State, which strung together rounds of 286 and 287 to grab the lead.
Several other teams were still in contention, however, including Utah Valley State College at 576, the University of Kansas at 580, the Cougars (BYU's "B" team) at 582, Weber State at 584 and Idaho at 586.
Leading the individuals was Utah State senior Todd Tanner, who shot rounds of 70 and 68, a stroke better than Weber State's Marty Jacks at 139. UVSC's Ryan Ellis stood third at 141, while four golfers, CSU's Robby Stephenson, Kansas' Brad Davis, BYU's Michael Henderson, and Southern Utah's Garrett Hannig all came in at 142.
BYU's No. 1 golfer, Andy Miller started slowly with a non-counting 75 in the morning (just four of the top five scores count in the team total), but came back with a 70 in the afternoon for a 145 total.
Two BYU golfers who are playing for the "B" team are in contention for individual honors. Paul Walker shot 143 Tuesday, while Matt Thurmond came in a 144. If those two had been playing for the main BYU team instead of Jesse Hibler (146), Billy Harvey (147) and Jose Garrido (148), then BYU would have been in first place going into Wednesday's final round.
Utah State stood in eighth place along with Wyoming at 590, just ahead of Southern Utah at 592. Eastern Washington was next at 595, followed by Rollins College at 599, Cal State North-ridge at 599, Utah at 602 and Boise State at 606.