NCAA men’s golf: How BYU fared playing alone in ‘Sunday’s third round’ of NCAA Finals on Thursday
No. 37-ranked Cougars struggled out of the gate and never recovered, posting a 23-over 303 at Grayhawk Golf Club
BYU needs a do-over after completing its “Sunday round” of the 2023 NCAA men’s golf championships on Thursday at 7,289-yard Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Playing the third round first as part of an NCAA accommodation for the school’s longstanding policy of not competing on Sundays, the Cougars carded a 23-over 303 after the other 29 teams in the field had completed their practice rounds.
All 30 teams will begin the tournament proper on Friday, with the second round set for Saturday. After the other 29 teams play their third rounds on Sunday, BYU’s score from Thursday will be added in and the lowest-shooting 15 teams will advance to Monday’s final round before match play begins Tuesday.
Suffice it to say, the Cougars have some work to do; By way of comparison, at the same course last year they posted a 10-over-par 290 while playing by themselves.
About the only positive happening for BYU on Thursday was that senior David Timmins, a Brighton High product, shot a respectable 1-over 71 after touring the opening nine in 1-under 34.
Junior Max Brenchley came it at 74, while the Cougars also counted 79s from Carson Lundell and Zac Jones. Sophomore Tyson Shelley, final-round hero in the regional last week in Morgan Hill, California, posted a noncounting 80.
With each player teeing off alone on each hole, the Cougars got off to a forgettable start and really never recovered. Shelley took a 10 on the par-5 4th hole, while Jones carded double bogeys on holes 2 and 7, both par-4s.
Jones tied for fourth individually and the Cougars placed second in the NCAA Morgan Hill Regional May 15-17.
Ranked 37th, the Cougars could not carry that same magic into Thursday’s performance. Top player Lundell did not make a birdie his entire round, while his teammates combined for just five.
BYU will be paired with East Tennessee State and WCC rival San Francisco on Friday, with tee times for those three teams beginning at 1:20 p.m. on the No. 10 tee.