BYU Leaps into First at Mo Williams

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Courtesy of byucougars.com
 
College CentralAUSTIN, Texas -- The No. 18 BYU men's golf team, riding a career-low 65 from freshman Jake Ellison in the first round, had a firm grip on first place after 36 holes Monday at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate.
 
Ellison (65-71--136), who has twice shot 68 this season and 67 once, sat in second place in the individual standings behind Arkansas' Andrew Dahl (64-68--132). Ellison's 65 was the lowest round for BYU (281-285--566) this season.
 
Head coach Bruce Brockbank said he was impressed with his team's play Monday.
 
'It was an exciting day and the guys played really well,' Brockbank said. 'We were on top of the leader board all day.'
 
The Cougars had three players in the top 20: Ellison (2), sophomore Oscar Alvarez (6), and junior Greg Machtaler (16). Alvarez (68-73--141) came in just five strokes behind Ellison, his first-round 68 tying his career low. Machtaler (74-69--143) had his second-lowest round of the season when he shot 69 on the second 18. Rounding out the Cougar five were junior Todd Miller (74-73--147) and sophomore Clay Bingham (80-72--152), who recovered nicely from a poor first round 80 to shoot a 72.
 
Brockbank said he thinks his team should be able to hang on and win the tournament despite a tough field that includes three top-10 teams.
 
'We feel like we can play with them,' he said. 'We'll go out tomorrow and see if we can finish this one off. The guys are excited to get out there.'
 
The Cougars are just one stroke ahead of No. 8 Texas Christian (284-283--567) with 18 more holes to play. The tournament's final round will begin Tuesday with a shotgun start at 8:30 AM.
 
The Morris Williams, hosted by No. 7 ranked University of Texas, is held at the Austin Country Club on a par-72 course that measures 6,906 yards. The tournament draws the following tough field: Texas (7), TCU (8), Oklahoma State (10), California (13), Arkansas (16), Oklahoma (23), Pepperdine (29), Texas A&M (31), Tulsa (34), SMU (40), Baylor, Fresno State, Houston and Virginia.
 
Last season, BYU placed 14th in the Morris Williams. Oklahoma State (286-285--571), the winner of the 2003 tournament, was in third place going into the final round.
 
BYU has finished in the top five in all seven of its tournaments so far this season.
 
Team Results
1. BYU 281-285=566 (-10); 2. TCU 284-283=567 (-9); 3. Oklahoma State 286-285=571 (-5); 4. Arkansas 288-284=572 (-4); 5. Tulsa 286-293=579 (+5); 6. Oklahoma 288-292=580 (+4); 7. California 286-295=581 (+7); T-8. Texas 287-295=582 (+6); T-8. Virginia 290-DNF=290 (+6); 10. Baylor 298-288=586 (+10); 11. Pepperdine 303-DNF=303 (+12);12. SMU 296-293=589 (+13); 13. Texas A&M 296-DNF=296 (+12); 14. Houston 292-307=599 (+23); 15. Fresno State 309-295=604 (+28).