GOLFERS THIRD AT THE MAXWELL
ARDMORE, Okla. - The University of Colorado men's golf team traveled here to tune-up for next week's NCAA Central Regional, but the Buffaloes will enter Sunday's final round of the 13th Annual Perry Maxwell Intercollegiate with a chance to post one of their finest efforts of the season.
No. 8 Oklahoma State, thanks to a blistering 15-under par team round the second time around the track Saturday, is in the lead after two rounds with a 549 score. No. 17 Oklahoma is in second, seven back at 556, with the Buffs holding down third at 559 and No. 14 Augusta State fourth with 561. Colorado came in ranked No. 30 by GolfStat and No. 32 by both the GCAA and Golfweek.
In seven previous visits to The Maxwell, the Buffs have never placed in the top five, with their best effort a sixth-place showing in 1995. Colorado was 11th here a year ago.
Colorado was also in third place after the morning round, which was especially tight as the top six teams were all separated by just one stroke between them, staring with Oklahoma City's 279 and Oklahoma State's 284. CU's 278 afternoon round score tied for its third-lowest gross score for a single round this season, as it was 2-under on the on the 6,453-yard, par-70 Dornick Hills Country Club layout. The morning 281 tally tied for the seventh lowest on the year.
Senior captain Kane Webber is pacing CU's effort, as he matched his collegiate career best in the afternoon, posting a 68-66?134 scorecard for the first 36 holes. That 6-under par effort has him tied for the lead with Oklahoma's Doug Manor (70-64), and it also tied for the third lowest score through two rounds in the tournament's 13-year history.
Sophomore Blake Moore finally recorded his first round in the 60s as a collegian, as he broke the elusive sub-70 barrier in style by posting a 3-under 67 in the afternoon. That followed a 72 in the morning for a 1-under 139 through two rounds, good for a ninth-place tie.
CU's other senior, Jeff Hanson, bounced back with an even-par 70 after an opening 74 to stand tied for 33rd with a 4-over 144 total, while sophomore Edward McGlasson rallied to post a 71 after an opening 74 to come in at 5-over 145 to tie for 41st after day one. Sophomore Kenny Coakley rounded out the team action, as he carded a 71 before recording a 76 to finish tied for 54th with a 147 score, the same number posted by another CU soph, Derek O'Neill (75-72), who is competing here as an individual.
The Buffs have one win and a runner-up finish in posting four straight top five finishes for the first time since 1989; CU has never logged five straight top five efforts in its history but have their sights set higher than that for Sunday.
"This is obviously good to see, the guys playing well at a critical juncture of the season," CU head coach Mark Simpson said. "The guys made some mistakes today, but came back for the most part. Blake and Edward lost some shots early, stayed focused, and came back strong. So overall, we're playing well on a tough golf course, and for us to be under par is certainly a good sign. We have a chance to win, and that's what we're going to be focusing in on (Sunday).
"It's also important to set our lineup for the rest of the year," Simpson added. "The five who are in the starting lineup right now figure to be there next week, unless something drastic happens. But I always like to leave the door open, and a sixth always has to be ready in case of injury."
As for Webber, he is gunning for his third tournament win in 54 days, which would tie the school record set by Hale Irwin in 1966-67. Simpson believes he can do just that.
"Kane's goal coming in was to win the tournament, not just to play well, but to win, and he's obviously in position to do that," Simpson said. "There's no reason to believe that he can't, and the way that he is playing, I'd be surprised if he didn't; he's playing that well."
This tournament is unique in that the teams play together in fivesomes, affording coaches the opportunity to study the games of all their players at once, an extreme advantage heading into the NCAA Championships. Ten of the 15 teams competing here have advanced to NCAA regionals, including eight heading to the NCAA Central Regional, where Colorado will play. Nine of the top 41 teams in the nation are in the field here.
The final round will be played beginning at 7 a.m. mountain time Sunday, with CU set to tee of at 7:30. The Buffs will then return home for two days before leaving for West Lafayette, Ind., and the NCAA Central Regional that starts Thursday.
T 1. Kane Webber........... 68-66--134
T 9. Blake Moore........... 72-67--139
T33. Jeff Hanson........... 70-74--144
T41. Edward McGlasson...... 74-71--145
T54. Kenny Coakley......... 71-76--147
T54. *Derek O'Neill........ 75-72--147
(*--competing as an individual.)
1. Oklahoma State....... 284-265--549
2. Oklahoma............. 282-274--556
3. COLORADO............. 281-278--559
4. Augusta State........ 283-278--561
5. Tulsa................ 286-276--562
6. Oklahoma City........ 279-291--570
7. Texas-Arlington...... 280-291--571
8. North Florida........ 291-282--573
9. SMU.................. 287-288--575
10. Arkansas............. 287-292--579
10. Baylor............... 297-282--579
12. Houston.............. 289-291--580
13. Penn State........... 292-289--581
14. Texas Tech........... 300-289--589
15. North Texas.......... 301-290--591
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