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Provo • Rainy weather couldn't keep the BYU men's golf team from taking the first-round lead Thursday at the 54-hole West Coast Conference Golf Championships at its home course, par-72 Riverside Country Club.
The No. 47-ranked Cougars shot a 9-under-par 279 (lowest four scores count) and lead St. Mary's by four shots heading into Friday's second round. Pepperdine is in third place, followed by Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara.
BYU's No. 27-ranked women's team, afforded the opportunity to defend its 2016 title on its home course, is in second place behind No. 36 Pepperdine after the Cougars shot an 8-over-par 296 and the Waves a 3-over-par 291. San Francisco is in third, 11 shots behind BYU.
"It was nice to see the guys get going a little bit," BYU men's coach Bruce Brockbank said. "The weather kind of kept people in check, but we hung in there and finished strong. Golf is about finishing all 18 holes, and we closed out the round really nicely."
BYU women's coach Carrie Roberts wasn't as happy after her players had some hiccups in the middle of their rounds.
"We started off the day really well," Roberts said. "We then struggled through the middle of the round. We will need to clean a few things up for tomorrow."
BYU's Patrick Fishburn is tied for second place at 4-under 68 with LMU's Riley Elmes and Gonzaga's Angus Montgomery, a shot behind Santa Clara's Hayden Shieh. The Cougars' Spencer Dunaway is in a group of four players tied for fifth at 69.
Also for BYU, Peter Kuest fired a 70, Rhett Rasmussen carded a 72 and CJ Lee a non-counting 74.
On the women's side, Pepperdine's Hira Naveed is the only player under par after she carded a 71. BYU's Alex White and Rose Huang are tied for second with four other players at 73, while the Cougars' Kendra Dalton and Brooklyn Hocker are tied for 12th at 75. Lauren Atkinson shot a non-counting 76.
Play resumes at 8 a.m. Friday.