Changing conferences tends to put a strain on fans and athletes, but the change to the West Coast Conference could be an advantage for the BYU men and women’s golf teams.
The Cougar golf teams have done well over the past few seasons. Last year, the men’s golf team placed fourth in the MWC Championship tournament and nine other top 10 tournament finishes. On the women’s side, the team had three top 10 finishes. Both teams have competed in tournaments all over the country and have proven themselves as worthy competitors, both as a team and individually.
Bruce Brockbank, BYU men’s golf coach, fully supports moving into the WCC. He thinks it will be a good opportunity for BYU but feels it will not have that much effect on the men’s golf team.
“We’re excited about some of the changes that may take place,” Brockbank said, “but our first priority is to keep our schedule very competitive and play in the top quality tournaments.”
Entering the WCC should be a nice change for the Cougar golf teams. The WCC has a good golf program with a few standout teams and individuals.
The Pepperdine men’s golf team finished first in the WCC Championship tournament last season. They also finished in the top 10 in all 12 of their tournaments.
Another team that will be tough to compete with is San Diego. The San Diego men’s golf team finished second in the WCC Championship tournament. They also placed in the top 10 in all 15 of their tournaments, while placing first in five of those tournaments.
Scott Travers from Santa Clara University, the 2010 WCC Player of the Year, is an individual player to watch. This past summer, Travers was named the California State Amateur Champion and won the Southern California Golf Association Amateur Championship, where he beat the previous scoring record set by Tiger Woods in 1994.
The WCC women’s golf program also has some strong teams and individuals.
The Pepperdine women’s team had three first place finishes, including last year’s WCC Championship tournament, where five of its team members placed in the top 10 and four in the top five. Danielle Kang was the 2009-10 WCC Freshman of the Year and won the 2010 WCC Women’s Golf Championship.
San Francisco is another solid women’s golf team. They had eight top 10 tournament finishes and placed second in the WCC Championship tournament.
Along with BYU, the Seattle University women’s golf team will also be joining the WCC for the 2010-11 season.