Golfers Slip Into 12th At Big 12 Championships
TRINITY, Texas - The University of Colorado men's golf team, with its back already against the wall, added to its struggles here Saturday as the Buffaloes slipped into 12th place with one round remaining at the 9th Annual Big 12 Conference Championships.
No. 1 Oklahoma State tried to run away and hide, as the Cowboys took a five-shot lead into the second round and expanded the margin to as many as 14 strokes at one point. But Oklahoma, in second after the first round, closed the gap to seven by the end of the day, playing the back nine 2-under compared to OSU's 7-over. OSU, with a team total of 5-over 581, is in the driver's seat to end the three-year reign by Texas, ranked No. 12, as the Longhorns are back in 10th, 35 strokes off the lead. OU is second at 588, followed by Missouri at 592; no one else cracked the 600 barrier, despite six Big 12 teams being among the nation's consensus top 40, with 10 in the top 75, including Colorado (No. 72).
As for CU, the Buffaloes started the day tied for 11th, or last, and rose as high as seventh at one point before slipping into 12th during the mid-afternoon, where the Buffs settled to end the second round after shooting the high round of the day (31-over 319) for a 36-hole total of 630. That left the team 10 strokes out of 11th, CU's worst placing in the eight previous league meets; the Buffs have only finished outside of the top six one other time (8th in 2002).
Colorado again started on the tougher back nine with Nos. 17 and 18 a bit of undoing for the team, as the five CU golfers played the pair at 13-over par, scoring one par, eight bogeys and one quintuple bogey overall; by comparison, the two teams CU really needs to beat here, Iowa State and Nebraska, played those two at 6-over and 4-under, respectively. The Buffs were 20-over par on the back nine Saturday, 14-over by the four counters for the team score as things got worse on the front side for that foursome, finishing out 17-over.
CU posted just seven birdies in the round, including two each by juniors Edward McGlasson and Blake Moore and freshman Shea Sena, otherwise there wasn't a lot of red scores going in the books for the Buffs.
The teams endured two weather delays, the first before attacking the Whispering Pines Golf Club course, a 7,330-yard, par-72 layout featuring more than its fare share of wooded, sandy and water-laden areas. Thunderstorms in the area delayed the start by an hour and 40 minute, with another 30-minute stoppage at 11 a.m. (MDT) for the same reason.
McGlasson, CU's No. 1 man, again posted CU's best score for the day, as he had a 5-over 77 to go with a 76 Friday for a two-round total of 153, tying him for 22nd overall. His personal goal will be to finish in the top 20, as the Buffaloes have had at least one player post a top 20 finish in all eight Big 12 title meets to date.
The freshman Sena is the next Buff in the standings, as he is tied for 42nd after a 79 gave him at 157 total; that's tied for seventh among the 10 freshmen competing here. Moore, undone a bit as he was 1-over at the time he had the quintuple bogey on No. 18, shot an 82 for a 159 total, tied for 48th.
Junior Kenny Coakley (80-81?161, tied for 53rd) and junior Derek O'Neill (85-83?168, 59th) round out the CU contingent.
"We just haven't been able to get anything going, and I don't know what else to say other than we just haven't played well," head coach Mark Simpson said. "There comes a point where you're trying to fix too many things at one time. At this point, we're playing for pride. That's not to say we're giving up, but we have to look deep inside ourselves and find a way to play we absolutely know the way we are capable of."
Two OU golfers share the lead heading into the final 18 holes, as Justin Fraley (68-72) and Anthony Kim (69-71) are both in with 4-under par 140 scores. They are two of just five golfers who have bettered par through two rounds, with one more player equaling the benchmark. Kim and Kansas State's Matt VanCleave were the only players to record under-par scores Saturday (both 1-under 71s), with only three others carding even-par efforts as the average score on the day was 77.48, a full stroke-and-a-quarter higher than Friday's norm (77.23). One in three scores here have been bogey or worse.
The Buffaloes needed a solid finish here to keep their hopes alive for an NCAA regional berth. With a last place standing and trailing two if not three teams it needs to defeat here, those hopes appear slim at this point. However, the Buffaloes do have a history of final round rallies under Simpson, both in conference as well as regional play.
The final round is set for a 7 a.m. start Sunday morning; the Buffs will tee it up at 7:50 and will be paired again with Texas as well as Iowa State.
T22. Edward McGlasson.... 76-77--153
T42. Shea Sena........... 78-79--157
T48. Blake Moore......... 77-82--159
T53. Kenny Coakley....... 80-81--161
59. Derek O'Neill....... 85-83--168
1. Oklahoma State..... 285-296--581
2. Oklahoma........... 290-298--588
3. Missouri........... 295-297--592
4. Texas A & M........ 303-299--602
5. Kansas............. 304-303--607
6. Texas Tech......... 299-310--609
7. Baylor............. 303-308--611
8. Kansas State....... 308-306--614
9. Nebraska........... 303-312--615
10. Texas.............. 311-305--616
11. Iowa State......... 302-318--620
12. COLORADO........... 311-319--630