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May 21, 2004

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The University of Colorado men's golf team couldn't solve the mysteries of a challenging golf course Friday, but are not alone in its misery as the Buffaloes slipped from 12th to 14th after two rounds of the NCAA Central Regional.


No. 21 Kentucky took over the lead from No. 8 Oklahoma State, as the Wildcats posted the day's only subpar team round at 3-under for a two-day total of 583.  The Cowboys are in second after a 10-over second round score but are just two shots back.  OSU had the tournament's only other subpar round on Thursday.


After those two, No. 12 Texas sits in a distant third at 594; No. 14 Texas A & M (595) and No. 47 and host Purdue (597) round out the top five.  Colorado, with a 611 team score, rests in 14th place.


The top 10 teams here will advance to next month's NCAA Championship Finals in Hot Springs, Va.  The 10th spot is currently held by Kansas State and Minnesota, both with a team score of 605, meaning Colorado is six shots where the cut would take place if it had been in effect here Friday.


About two hours into the morning round, heavy rains and lightning forced a 55-minute delay in action.  In addition, temperatures and the humidity were both in the 80s for the second straight day, with occasional gusty winds.


Of the 282 rounds over two days, less than 10 percent (27) have been recorded as par or better on the 7,035-yard, par-72 Kampen Course at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex, located on the Purdue University campus. Only 15 have managed to better par, with only four scores in the 60s (all 69s).


"We've got a chance, but we will have to get it under 300," CU head coach Mark Simpson said.  "I'm thinking 45-over might make it, or 15-over per round, assuming the conditions are the same.  We needed to be in the top 15, because those first 15 go in the morning at the preferred tee times, when the conditions are usually best to score.  If you're not, that's a big disadvantage."


The best score posted by a Buff in the second round were 4-over 76s from senior captain Kane Webber and sophomore Kenny Coakley.  Webber stands at 4-over 148 through 36 holes, which has him tied for 19th.  Coakley, the only Buffalo to record two birdies Friday, rebounded from an opening 81 and his 157 total is good for an 88th-place tie.


The top two individuals from teams not finishing in the top 10 will also advance to the NCAA Finals.  As it stands now, Webber is two strokes off that pace as the CU golfer with the best 36-hole score should the Buffs not qualify as a team.


Kentucky's Brandon Waltrip recorded a second-straight 70 for a 4-under 140 total, good for a two shot lead over Texas' Jason Hartwick (69-73?142), one of three players who was tied for the lead after one round.  Only five players are in the red numbers (under par) heading into the final round.


 "I just stuck to my game plan of trying to hit the fairways," Waltrip said.  "With these roughs, it's tough to get anything out of them, so the best bet is to hit the fairways."


Sophomore Blake Moore played better than his 77 on Friday indicated, as he parred 10 of the last 11 holes after being 4-over through seven; his 152 total is tied for 42nd overall.  Yet another CU soph, Edward McGlasson, had a similar round en route to a 78; he scored par on nine of the last 10 holes after standing at 5-over through eight holes.  He's in at 154 and is tied for 62nd entering the final round.


"I've been driving the ball really well, so I've been okay from the fairway, but around the greens it is just brutal," Moore said.  "You're really penalized if you miss the greens.  That's basically what happened on my two doubles.  The thing is, I don't think most of the guys here are used to playing shots out this kind of rough; I know I'm not." 


Rounding out CU's effort here is senior Jeff Hanson, who was off his game a second straight day, as he scored an 87 after a first round 83 for a 170 total.  He was dealt an early blow, as after he opened with a bogey, he had to take a quadruple bogey seven on the 169-yard, par-3 No. 2.


 "We didn't get off to a horrendous start, but I'd say the delay hurt us," Simpson said.  "(After the delay), Blake had two double bogeys in the first three holes, and Edward was 1-under and came back with two doubles in his first four holes after the break.  They had trouble getting their rhythm back, and double bogeys are what kill you.  That's the one thing we have to stay from (Saturday).


 "Kane just wasn't totally on his game," Simpson continued.   "He was having some problems with his wedges off the wet fairways, and was a little frustrated by it.  He was solid off the tee but couldn't capitalize because he wasn't comfortable with his short game, which is one of the country's best (he's ranked seventh nationally).  He also had a double and a bogey right after the delay, now that I think about it.  Kenny played solid all day; he was even at the turn and had some tough bogeys on the back nine.  Jeff's struggled for two days and hasn't been able to get into any kind of groove to settle himself down."


CU was 23-over for the round, its highest of the season, but settled down after the turn when the four scorers were just 7-over.  Collectively, CU had 27 pars, one birdie (by Webber) and eight bogeys on the back nine.  However, the 307 score would have been coveted by nine other schools in the field that did worse.


 "From what I saw, we hung in there," Simpson summarized.  "It wasn't pretty, but we could have shot 320 easily today, but they're gutting it out.  The course is just brutal.  I've been to four U.S. Opens, and while the greens aren't as tough as they are there, the rough here is similar, if not harder (eight inches high, and wet from rains). 


 "But on the toughest course we've played all year, the best teams need to rise to the top," he concluded.  "And we haven't showed that yet, and tomorrow will be the telltale sign of what kind of team we really have.  It will be the ultimate gut-check.  We need to two guys to step up and put up scores in the high 60s or low 70s.  Two scores like that will help, and Kentucky proved it today, so it can be done and that's our goal.  It's more mentally straining than anything else, and it's tough to lose shots, especially early, because you know they're tough to get back with so few birdie holes out there.  So we need to play solid the first five, six, seven holes; getting off to a good start is very important and will be the key to our season."


The final round will be played Saturday, with the Buffaloes to play with Notre Dame and Ohio State and tee off at 7:42 a.m. mountain time.


Buffalo Individuals

T19. Kane Webber......... 72-76--148

T42. Blake Moore......... 75-77--152

T62. Edward McGlasson.... 76-78--154

T88. Kenny Coakley....... 81-76--157

138. Jeff Hanson......... 83-87--170


Team Scores

 1. Kentucky........... 298-285--583

 2. Oklahoma State..... 287-298--585

 3. Texas.............. 298-296--594 

 4. Texas A & M........ 292-303--595

 5. Purdue............. 295-302--597

 6. Oklahoma........... 305-294--599

 7. SMU................ 302-299--601

 8. TCU................ 305-297--602

 8. Wichita State...... 302-300--602

10. Kansas State....... 300-305--605

10. Minnesota.......... 302-303--605

12. Kent State......... 301-305--606

13. Notre Dame......... 310-297--607

14. COLORADO........... 304-307--611   

15. Ohio State......... 302-310--612

16. Texas Tech......... 317-296--613   

17. Indiana............ 306-308--614

18. Kansas............. 315-300--615

19. Tulsa.............. 314-306--620

20. Arkansas........... 314-307--621

21. Lamar.............. 309-313--622

22. Xavier............. 312-316--628

23. Illinois........... 309-320--629

24. Baylor............. 321-317--638

25. Princeton.......... 323-318--641

25. Western Illinois... 323-323--646

27. Jackson State...... 333-337--670


2004 NCAA Central Regional Notes


?       No Buff shot lower than 76 on Friday; the previous high "low" had been 74 on three occasions: the second round at the New Mexico Tucker Invitational and the Big 12 Championships and in the first round at the Louisiana Classics.


?       CU has come from behind before in regional action, rallying to finish in the 10th and final spot to advance in both 1999 and 2002.  In 1999, at Ohio State University's Scarlet Course, the Buffs rallied from 18th place and eight shots back after 36 holes to force a playoff with Kent State, winning the battle on the first extra hole and thus advancing to the national finals.  It remains the second largest comeback in regional history.  In 2002 in Little Rock, Colorado was 11th after day one and in 13th after day two, but rallied to post the seventh best score in a final round hampered by tough winds, finishing in the 10th and final spot with an 886 team score.   The Buffs edged two teams by one stroke?Big 12 rivals Kansas and Oklahoma.


?       Webber owns the team's and one of the nation's top final round averages of 70.83; with rounds of 72 (par) and 76 here, on only two occasions in 12 tournaments has he not scored a subpar round: at the Pepperdine Club Glove Intercollegiate, when he had two even-par rounds, and at the Big 12 Championships, when he played ill.  He still managed to tie for 10th and 20th, respectively.



Buff Individual Cards (Round 2)


Hole          1      2     3    4      5    6     7     8    9    10   11  12   13  14   15   16   17  18  Total









































Webber       5      3    4     4     3     7     4    5     4     4     4    4     3     4    4     6     4    4       76        

Coakley      4      2    5     5     3     5     3    5     4     6     4    5     3     4    4     6     4    4       76        

Moore        5      3    4     4     5     5     6    4     4     5     5    4     3     4    4     5     3    4       77

McGlasson   4      2    5     6     3     7     4    6     4     5     5    4     3     4    4     5     3    4       78        

Hanson       5      7    4     6     5     6     4    4     5     5     5    5     3     4    4     6     4    5       87