She has done a great job with that group of kids, that’s all. She’s taken talent and made it better. —BYU mens golf coach Bruce Brockbank
Bruce Brockbank may be the head men’s golf coach at BYU, but this guy does not hesitate to praise the women’s team to high heaven. He calls the women the standard to shoot for, even for his own conference championship team.
The No. 28-ranked Cougar women are in Lubbock, Texas, today, playing in a NCAA regional after defeating Pepperdine for the West Coast Conference golf title more than a week ago.
The day Brockbank’s own team won the WCC, he praised women’s coach Carrie Roberts and her squad. On Friday, before his men teed off on a practice round at Riverside, he again singled out the women for their example.
What in the name of Title IX is this?
Well, Brockbank is humble enough to recognize Roberts’ women can kick butt and take names. He’s witnessed it up close and where it counts, in practice.
On Monday, the women fired a 9-over par score to sit in fifth place in the first-round standings at the NCAA regional in Lubbock, Texas. The team had 12 birdies and one eagle Monday. Alex White, who eagled the second hole, got her score to 4-under to lead the field until she made bogeys on 15, 16 and 17.
The BYU women, who climbed as high as third place midway in Monday’s initial 18, trail No. 7 ranked Arizona State (+5), Oregon (+6), No. 2 UCLA (+8), and host Texas Tech (+8) heading into Tuesday’s second round. The top six teams advance to the NCAA championship.
“What Roberts has done is remarkable,” said Brockbank of the women who have now won two consecutive WCC titles, knocking off a Pepperdine program that dominated the event for decades. A year ago, the women advanced past the NCAA regional, and have had the last two WCC Players of the Year, in 2016 (Rose Huang) and 2017 (White).
At Lubbock, BYU joins 17 universities: No. 34 host Texas Tech, No. 2 UCLA, No. 7 Arizona State, No. 10 Furman, No. 15 Kent State, No. 18 Texas, No. 23 Oklahoma, No. 30 San Diego State, No. 38 TCU, No. 42 UNLV, No. 47 Oregon, No. 50 Iowa State, Oregon State, Murray State, Georgetown, Richmond and Sacred Heart.
Teams will play 54 holes over three days of play on the par-72, 6,593-yard Rawls Course. BYU placed fifth at the 2016 Red Raider Invitational last season held at the Rawls Course.
“She has done a great job with that group of kids, that’s all. She’s taken talent and made it better,” said Brockbank. Roberts is a former Cougar golfer and is the daughter of former Senior Tour veteran Bruce Summerhays.
“I just think they buy into her system and it works. I don’t know much more about it, only that there is a process and they are committed. Those kids have improved dramatically and you’ve got to give credit where credit is due. We (the men) have to take a step forward. This group of men is working harder and if we take one more step in their (women’s) direction, we will get better too.”
Brockbank isn’t being pretentious.
“The proof is in the pudding, you know. She’s getting the job done. Those kids are getting better and that’s where you take pride in your program, whether it is your No. 1 gal or guy or your No. 9 guy or gal, that’s how they get better by paying the price.
“We’ve had a little bit of a lull in that process on our team but we are quickly getting back, adding a few very talented kids. But you can get only so far with talent, you’ve got to add work and that’s the next step.”
Brockbank said day-to-day, watching the BYU women “it inspires you.” He said where they stand, where they work, what they do, all stand out to him.
The Cougar women had their lowest rounds and their highest rounds last year in Lubbock. They know the layout, the weather and the types of holes, fairways and greens. That familiarity can’t hurt.
“I think they’ll figure out a way to get through,” said Brockbank.