About 16 hours after a disastrous third round score of 23-over-par 303 left them reeling at the 2023 NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, BYU golfers returned to Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, and played much better in Friday’s official first round.

The Cougars posted a 9-over 289 in round one, playing much better with competitors on the course instead of just themselves, as was the case Thursday.

BYU sat in a tie for 15th place after the first round, but of course it will tumble down the leaderboard when Thursday’s results are posted on Sunday.

Only one team, Baylor, posted a worse score on Friday than BYU did on Thursday. The No. 30-ranked Bears shot a 24-over 304.

The Cougars played their third round first, thanks to an NCAA provision to accommodate BYU’s longstanding policy of not competing on Sunday for religious reasons.

After the rest of the field finishes on Sunday, BYU’s score from Thursday will be added to the scoreboard. The 15 lowest-shooting teams after the third round will advance to Monday’s final round of stroke play.

After that fourth round, the lowest-shooting eight teams will enter match play Tuesday and Wednesday.

Friday, sophomore Tyson Shelley led the Cougars with a 1-over 71, a remarkable turnaround for the Skyline High product who had carded an 80 on Thursday.

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The Cougars also counted Max Brenchley’s 74 and 72s from Zac Jones and Carson Lundell. Former Brighton High standout David Timmins, who posted BYU’s best score on Thursday, a 71, ballooned to a non-counting 77 on Friday.

Georgia Tech shot an even-par 280 to take the lead after round one. West Coast Conference tournament runner-up Pepperdine and Arkansas are tied for second at 281.

Georgia Tech’s team features Utahn Connor Howe, a Weber High graduate. He shot a 72 on Friday. Two-time Utah State Amateur champion Preston Summerhays of Arizona State shot a 71.