Defending Utah State Amateur champion Zac Jones fired a 3-under 69 to lead BYU’s golf team in the opening round of the NCAA Morgan Hill Regional on Monday at The Institute Golf Club.
Jones, a Lone Peak High product, is tied for fifth in the race for medalist honors. The 54-hole tournament, which is a qualifier for the NCAA Finals May 26-31 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, resumes Tuesday with the second round at the 7,561-yard layout outside San Jose, California.
Missouri’s Alfonso Bondesson shot a 67 to take the first-round lead.
Utah’s Javier Marcos, competing as an individual because the Utes did not qualify as a team, shot a 1-under 71 and is tied for 19th place.
BYU shot even-par 288 as a team and is in ninth place, 12 shots off the lead. Jones made four birdies on the back nine to rescue a mediocre round.
The Cougars counted 72s from Carson Lundell and David Timmins and a 75 from former Skyline High star Tyson Shelley to get to 288. Max Brenchley added a noncounting 76 as only the top four scores are counted.
Mississippi State leads at 12-under 276.
The low five teams from each of six 54-hole regional tournaments advance to the finals, so the No. 43-ranked Cougars have some work to do after winning the WCC tournament on April 29.
Meanwhile, two-time Utah State Amateur champ Preston Summerhays, who plays for Arizona State, shot a 10-under 62 at the Las Vegas Regional at Bear’s Best Golf Club and leads that tournament by a stroke over Stanford’s Michael Thorbjornsen.
Summerhays’ round featured two eagles, seven birdies and a bogey.
Utah Valley’s Brady McKinlay, competing as an individual in Las Vegas, shot a 66 and is tied for seventh. McKinlay is a senior from Lacombe, Alberta, Canada.