Boise State men’s golf entered this year’s Mountain West Championship the underdog — and that’s exactly how they left.
From the end of the first round on Friday, head coach Kevin Burton knew the Broncos were in for a fight.
Fifteen of the 55 golfers in the field, including Boise State junior Ty Travis, shot par-or-better during the tournament’s first round.
Burton wasn’t surprised by the conference’s ability to record such good scores — according to him the Mountain West is one of the top conferences nationally.
“We knew going into it that this is the second- or third-best conference in the country,” Burton told The Arbiter in an email. “We certainly expected a lot of good play, and that’s what you saw. These guys are going to be the next guys on the PGA Tour.”
Both Travis and freshman David Elliott were placed in the top 25 after the first round, keeping the Broncos in contact with the rest of the conference.
Come day two of the tournament, however, things would change drastically for Boise State.
As a team, the Broncos fell from eighth place to ninth during the second round, and ultimately fell to last place following the conclusion of the third and final round of the tournament.
Travis would also struggle, falling out of the top 10 to a T-20 place finish.
Burton attributed some of Boise State’s struggles to harsh conditions that worsened as the weekend went on.
Cold temperature and windy conditions were factors the Broncos needed to take advantage of in order to upset the Mountain West field, however, that did not end up happening.
“Conditions got very difficult on a good, tough course,” Burton said. “We didn’t handle the wind as well as we would have liked. Those were actually the conditions we needed to try to beat some of these great teams. We just didn’t pull it off.”
Despite struggling at this year’s tournament, Burton feels the young lineup he went with this year will pay dividends in the future.
“We decided to play a very young team to get experience and prepare for the future, and we feel this will help these guys,” Burton said. “They now have a better idea of the level of play in this league, and how hard they’re going to have to work this offseason.”
Led by individual co-champion Gavin Green, New Mexico was able to defend their team title from a year ago, holding off charges from UNLV and San Diego State.