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Golfers Tied For 11th At Big 12 Championships

Apr 29, 2005

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                TRINITY, Texas - The University of Colorado men's golf team knew it had some challenges here, and those grew immensely Friday as the Buffaloes are tied for 11th place after one round of the 9th Annual Big 12 Conference Championships.


                No. 1 Oklahoma State played to its ranking, as the Cowboys were the lone team under par Friday with a 3-under 285 teams core.  That leads Oklahoma (2-over 290), Missouri (295) and Texas Tech (299) as only four teams bettered 300 team totals.  Six Big 12 teams are among the nation's consensus top 40, with 10 in the top 75, including Colorado (No. 72).


                The Buffaloes hovered in the lower third of the standings most of the day, spending most of their time in 10th place.  CU briefly rose into eighth place at one point and only tied for last right at the end of the round, never occupying 12th by itself. 


                CU started on the back nine, the tougher side, as three double bogeys and a bogey with no birdies on the first two holes sent the Buffs to 5-over as a team less than an hour into the opening round.   The team made the turn at 14-over par for the four golfers who would wind up counting toward the team total of 311, which has CU tied with No. 12 Texas heading into Saturday.


                Not many players in the field solved the mysteries of the Whispering Pines Golf Club course, a 7,330-yard, par-72 configuration with an equal mix of dense piney-wooded and water hazard areas.   CU's No. 1 man, junior Edward McGlasson, had the best team round of the day, a 36-40?76, or four over par; he double-bogeyed his second hole (No. 11), but then settled down to record three birdies, three bogeys and an unfortunate five on the par-3 16th.  He is tied for 22nd overall.


                Junior Blake Moore is tied for 28th (39-38?77, 5-over) had a bit of a rollercoaster ride on the day, as he had four birdies to go with four double bogeys and a single bogey over the course of his round.  True freshman Shea Sena had just one of four eagles posted in the first round, scoring it on the par-5 17th, but double-bogeyed 18 to turn at 42 before closing with two birds, two bogeys and five pars to finish at 6-over 78.  Sena, one of just 10 freshmen competing here, is tied for 38th overall and is tied for the sixth frosh.


                Junior Kenny Coakley had the most pars (11) by any Buffs, but turned in a 38-42?80 overall scorecard as he had six bogeys and a double to finish 8-over for the day.  Junior Derek O'Neill, troubled by a pulled muscle in his back earlier in the week, didn't suffer any ill effects from the injury but struggled to a 45-40?85.


                Head coach Mark Simpson, back with the team after a two-week absence following surgery for lung cancer, was disappointed but not surprised with his team's opening effort.


                "Without the opportunity to coach them the last couple of weeks, my being sick and (assistant coach) Brad (Neher) only able to spend an hour a day with them, essentially we're just not fully prepared to be in this tournament a t this point," he said.  "That goes back to really a lack of coaching opportunities; they were kind of own their own for most of the last two weeks.   So I take responsibility as the head coach and we as a coaching staff, because we still have to have them prepared."


                Neher, the part-time assistant coach, works another job during the day and tried to spend as much time with the team as he could. 


                "We still have a chance to move well into the upper division if we play the way we know we are capable of," Simpson added.  "We had some kids make some fundamental changes coming in here, and that's really hard to do before a major competition, but those were things they had to do.  Now they have a practice round and a competitive round under their belts, so hopefully we can improve the next two days, as that is what should happen.  The conditions here were as serene as can be, and should be the same, so it looks like we can concentrate on our play without weather issues."


                The course played tough as advertised; there were 311 bogeys, double bogeys or worse, or just fewer than 30 percent of all hole scores posted Friday.  The average score posted among the 60-man field worked out to 76.23, as only nine golfers bettered par, or three less than the number who couldn't break 80.


                It didn't bother Baylor's Jeremy Alcorn, who put together a solid 34-33?67 effort, as that 5-under par score was good for a one stroke lead over Oklahoma's Justin Fraley and Oklahoma State's Tyler Leon, both who recorded 33-35?68 scorecards.


                The Buffaloes need to finish strong here to keep their hopes alive for an NCAA regional berth.  CU came in ranked either seventh or eighth in two district rankings?with only seven from the Central Region guaranteed invitations, plus automatic conference champions (earlier this week, Illinois State, ranked 13th in the district, won the Missouri Valley Conference meet).    


The second round is set for a 7 a.m. start Saturday morning; the Buffs tee off at 7:50 and will be paired with Kansas State and Texas.  The final round is slated for Sunday.   This is the first time the Big 12 Championship is spread over three days; every 54-hole conference meet CU had participated in since 1951 (Big 7, 8 and 12) included 36 holes on the first day and the last 18 on the next.


 Buffalo Individuals

T22. Edward McGlasson.... 36-40--76

T28. Blake Moore......... 39-38--77

T38. Shea Sena........... 36-42--78

T50. Kenny Coakley....... 42-38--80

 60. Derek O'Neill....... 45-40--85


 Team Standings 

 1. Oklahoma State.... 141-144--285

 2. Oklahoma.......... 141-149--290

 3. Missouri.......... 145-150--295

 4. Texas Tech........ 146-153--299

 5. Iowa State........ 152-150--302

 6. Baylor............ 150-153--303

 6. Nebraska.......... 154-149--303

 6. Texas A & M....... 151-152--303

 9. Kansas............ 151-153--304

10. Kansas State...... 152-156--308

11. COLORADO.......... 153-158--311

11. Texas............. 147-164--311