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BYU, Utah struggle in 2nd round of NCAA golf championship

BYU fired a 22-over score and Utah carded a 29-over tally and stand 23rd and 28th in the 30-team field

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BYU freshman Tyson Shelley watches a shot

BYU freshman Tyson Shelley watches a shot at the NCAA National Championship at Grayhawk GC in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Fairways Media/ Randy Dodson

Oklahoma took a two-shot lead in the NCAA Golf Championship on Saturday at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona as both BYU and Utah fell six and nine places respectively and sit near the bottom of the 30-team field heading into Sunday’s third round.

Oklahoma is 2-over par, ahead of Friday’s leader Vanderbilt at 4-over, followed by Oklahoma, North Carolina and defending national champion Pepperdine at 16-over. The Waves made the most of Saturday of any team, moving up nine spots to No. 5.

BYU’s team shot a 22-over par round and stand at 23rd. Utah shot 29-over and is in 28th place. The top 15 teams after Sunday’s third round will advance to the final round of stroke play Monday. The top eight teams will then continue to match play Tuesday and Wednesday.

BYU will not play in Sunday’s third round but will have its third-round score of 10-over par from its solo play on Thursday inserted into the leaderboard. 

Considering the Cougars posted a 27 Saturday, that 10-over score insertion will definitely help. It will aid BYU significantly if the wind comes up Sunday at the other 29 teams post high scores. That will undoubtedly make for controversy for the no Sunday play accommodation made by the NCAA.

On Saturday, 18 teams shot 10-over or worse with 11 teams handing in team cards with 20-over part team scores.

The Cougars set a goal of playing near par or five or six over on “moving day” Saturday in the second round of the 72-hole championship and teeing off on the back nine, it appeared they’d be on track, snuggling into the top 10 in the field of 30 after nine holes.

Then disaster struck on the tougher front nine that had dried out with hardened greens.  The team went from 6-over par to 22-over and dropped seven places within five holes on their back nine. Max Brenchley, who tripled the par-3 16th, started his second nine with birdie, two double bogeys and a triple and was 12 over par on the round with three to play.

The Cougars lost traction and the Utes followed suit.

Utah began the second round on the tough front and No. 1 man Blake Tomlinson started with a bogey then tripled No. 3. Teammate Braxton Watts took a 9 on the Par 4 No. 9 hole and the rest of the team carded five double bogeys, dropping six places just after making the turn.  At the end of the day, Utah dropped nine places.

Carson Lundell and David Timmons led BYU on Saturday with 4-over 74s. For the Utes, Tomlinson and Javier Barcos had the team’s low rounds with 6-over par 76s.