LAS VEGAS, Nev. The Boise State University men’s golf team, led by junior Troy Merritt, posted its best finish of the young season, Tuesday, at the District VII Fall Shootout at Angel Park Golf Course.
Merritt finished the 54-hole event tied for first place with a 12-under 201 at the par-71, 6,722-yard course, but lost a playoff to San Diego State’s Aaron Goldberg. Highlighting the event was Merritt’s school-record tying 9-under 62 in the second round. Merritt’s round tied the mark set by Chris Clark at the 1988 Tri-City Invitational.
The junior from Fridley, Minn., has now posted three top 15 finishes in four events since joining the Broncos this season. Merritt, who transferred to Boise State this year from Winona State, earned GCAA Division II PING All-America honors as a sophomore and was a member of the Freshman All-America team.
Senior Nick Travers continued his streak of top 10 finishes, completing the Shootout tied for seventh. With a 5-under 208, Travers has now finished under par in each of the three tournaments he has played this season, garnering his first career individual title at the Vandal Fall Classic, as well as a third place finish at the Wolf Pack Invitational.
“Travers and Merritt are bringing a consistency to this team that a program needs to have to be successful,” head coach Kevin Burton said. “If these guys continue to do what they have done so far this year, and if our other players continue to step up and post rounds for us, this is going to be a great year for the Broncos.”
The Broncos finished second in the 16-team field with a team score of 836 (-16). Boise State defeated each of the Western Athletic Conference rivals competing at the event, knocking off fifth place Nevada by 13 strokes, sixth place Hawaii by 14 strokes, and ninth place Idaho by 21 strokes.
“We are getting better and better every tournament,” Burton said. “This was a big tournament for us as far as postseason play is concerned. We of course want to win the WAC Championships, but we don’t want to have to rely on that to get to postseason. We would like to have a bid to the NCAA West Regional locked up before the conference tournament. This event put us well on our way.”
Garnering the first top 25 finish of his career was freshman Shawn Tonkin. The Mercer Island, Wash., native finished tied for 24th with an even-par 213.
Rounding out the scoring for the Broncos were junior Matt Hastings, who finished with a 214 (+1), and freshman Chris Byrne, who shot 222 (+9).
The Broncos, who have finished in the top four in two of the last three tournaments, look to continue their success, Oct. 23-24, at the Santa Clara University Invitational, at San Jose, Calif. Boise State captured the team championship at last year’s SCU Invitational.
District VII Fall Shootout
Oct. 10-11, 2006
Angel Park Golf Course; Las Vegas, Nev.
Par 71; 6,722 yards
Boise State Results T1. Troy Merritt (69-62-70201, -12), T7. Nick Travers (69-72-67208, -5), T24. Shawn Tonkin (73-71-69213, E), T30. Matt Hastings (74-72-68214, +1), T67. Chris Byrne (74-75-73222, +9).
Team Results 1. San Diego State (822, -30), 2. Boise State (836, -16), T3. Colorado State (848, -4), T3. Denver (848, -4), 5. Nevada (849, -3), 6. Hawaii (850, -2), 7. Utah (854, +2), 8. UTEP (855, +3), 9. Idaho (857, +5), 10. Southern Utah (858, +6), 11. Air Force (864, +12), T12. Weber State (868, +16), T12. Wyoming (868, +16), 14. Utah Valley State (880, +28), 15. Hawaii-Hilo (894, +42).
Top Five Individuals T1. Aaron Goldberg, San Diego State (68-66-67201, -12)**, T1. Troy Merritt, Boise State (69-62-70201, -12), 3. Chris Cole, San Diego State (69-71-65205, -8), T4. Espen Kofstad, Denver (65-72-69206, -7), T4. Blake Trimble, UNLV (68-67-71206, -7).
** denotes playoff winner