BYU golf coach Bruce Brockbank is rebuilding the program with five talented freshmen from Utah. They include Ogden's Patrick Fishburn; Mike Jurca, St. George; Devon Purser, Clearfield; Dalton Stanger, Orem; and McCoy Willey of St. George. Deseret News columnist Dick Harmon asked Brockbank if the new faces will help BYU climb in the rankings and challenge for a conference title.
Q: How good is this freshman class and what impact will they have on your team this year?
A: Somebody told me the other day our freshmen class was ranked No. 1 in performance by Golfstats.com thus far in the year after two tournaments. Exactly what that means, I don't know. Willey McCoy just finished 12th in the MacKenzie Invitational in Fairfax, Calif. That was a great showing; he shot 7-under par, lowest score on the team. Fishburn and Purser have had two good tournaments. The freshmen are doing good.
Q: Zac Blair is ranked sixth in the nation and is coming off a win and several second-place finishes in national competition during the summer. He will be named the best amateur golfER in Utah for the second straight year. How good is he?
A: Zac is pretty special. He is very savvy and learned it from his dad (Jimmy Blair). He hits it where he's aiming. He hits it solid and his short game is excellent, as is his putting. He's been on a run for six or seven months. He rarely slept in his own bed all summer and he's taken his game to the next level.
Q: Johnny Miller recently praised Blair and said he's almost certain to be on the PGA Tour someday. He heaped on such high praise and described why his 5-foot-6, 125-pound build wasn't an issue. What did you think When a Hall of Famer and top golf analyst divvied out such praise?
A: It made the hair on my neck stand up.
Q: Blair just won the William Tucker Invitational in Albuquerque by four strokes. How big of a start was that for him in his junior season?
A: It was a huge win. They have put in six or seven new tee boxes and it is a very long course and they let the rough grow up. It was very tough and a real test. To win it was a big deal.
Q: Riverside Country Club's recent construction included a locker room and putting green for the golf team. What is your view of those improvements?
A: The clubhouse and facilities are the best of the best. The locker room is something coach Karl Tucker tried to do for years. Fortunately, because of his friends and his influence and generous donations we now have a place we can call home and we're very fortunate.
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company