BREMERTON, Wash. — It’s been a while, but the feeling was familiar and good for the BYU men’s golf team.
The Cougars won the West Coast Conference championship on Thursday, the first conference title for the BYU since 2007, and their first WCC crown.
BYU was led by Justin Keiley and Jordan Rodgers, who finished tied for fifth at 1-over-par 217. Cougar coach Bruce Brockbank was named Coach of the Year, while Rodgers and Joe Parkinson (220, t13) were named to the All-WCC team.
“I’m really proud of the way the guys hung in there,” Brockbank said. “They came out in this cold, windy, rainy day on a challenging course and had a great start. The first nine holes won it for us. It’s great to have an automatic bid (to the NCAA regionals). We’re going to play great and try and get to the championships.”
BYU finished at 10-over-par 874, with Santa Clara trailing by four strokes at 878. San Francisco was third at 849, and second-day leader Saint Mary’s was fourth (882), followed by Pacific and Pepperdine 884, Gonzaga 888, San Diego 890 and Loyola Marymount 898.
Pacific’s Byron Meth took first place at 8-under-par 208.
Keiley and Rodgers had three and two birdies, respectively. Rodgers had an eagle in the sixth hole in the final round and finished second in par scoring with 40.
Parkinson tied in 13th place at 4-over-par with a pair of birdies, a second-round 78 keeping him from a much better finish. Cole Ogden tied for 25th place at 226 with Jordah Hammer at 227.
“Finishing the regular season with a win really helps,” Parkinson said. “My coaches have been helping a lot and have been supportive. We’ll have lots of time to practice and improve before regionals.”
“It’s great to finally get a conference win,” Hammer added. “It was a battle all week, but our team has been solid all year and it’s good to prove it on the biggest stage of the year. We just need to be mentally strong and recognize that we belong in regionals.”
The Cougars will return to action at the NCAA Regionals May 15-17, with a pending announcement determining where the team will compete.
The Cougar women got a second-place finish from freshman Alexandra White and finished third overall as a team at the WCC Championships.
Lea Garner and White were named to the All-WCC first team.
The Cougars finished at 49-over 913, behind Pepperdine’s 877 and Gonzaga at 894. Santa Clara was fourth at 921 and San Francisco fifth at 937.
White tied for second with Pepperdine’s Liv Cheng and Marissa Chow at 3-over 219, following a 72 on the final day. She had eight birdies in the three rounds. Garner tied for fifth at 220 and had BYU’s low round of the day, a 71. Maria Yacaman finished 20th at 237, Selu Fotu at 243 and Annie Yang at 344.
Gonzaga’s Alice Kim was medalist at 216.