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Buffs Lead Own Stevinson Ranch Invitational

Mar 27, 2006

                STEVINSON, Calif. - The University of Colorado men's golf team overcame wind, rain and any number of other things Monday to take a one shot lead into the final round of its own eighth annual CU-Stevinson Ranch Invitational.


                The Buffaloes were in fourth after the first round, but took the lead as CU was one of the more consistent teams on the day in recording a pair of 298 scores in each round for a 20-over par 596 total.  Kansas State, the first round leader at 7-over 295, came back with an afternoon 302 for a 597 score to trail CU by a single stroke.  Drake (600), Wichita State (601) and Boise State (602) round out the top five.


                The Buffs, ranked No. 50, and Missouri (No. 44) are the highest ranked Division I schools participating here.  CU needs to defeat the Tigers, a conference and district rival, to pull even with them on the year; Mizzou is lurking, just nine strokes off the pace, as it is tied for sixth at 605.


                Though the temperature was in the 60s most of the day, 10-15 mile per hour winds consistently battered the course beginning in the mid-morning.  The end result that was in the first round, only two players bettered par with just four others able to match it.  Things would get worse in the afternoon, when rain began to fall around 4:00, just over halfway into the second round.  At times, it was a heavy downpour but otherwise was a steady light rainfall, helping to contribute to just three players scoring par or better, bringing the total on the day to just nine.


                Oklahoma City junior Daniel Mitchell is the individual leader through two rounds, as he finished Monday with an even-par 144 total.  That was good for a one shot lead over Drake's Ross Hamann, who recorded the afternoon's only round in the 60s, as a 3-under 69 gave him a 145 total overall.  Mitchell scored a 2-under par 70 to open the day, one of just four subpar rounds scored combined in the 154 logged by the field on the 7,206-yard, par-72 Stevinson Ranch Golf Club course.


                First round leader, Illinois State senior Kris Wildenradt, shot a 4-under 68, starting his day on No. 5 in the shotgun format.  He worked his score to 7-under at one point, including a 32 on the back nine, before scoring consecutive bogeys on Nos. 1, 2 and 3; he couldn't regain the magic the second time around, firing an 83.


                Colorado leads its own meet going into the final round for only the second time in eight tries.  On the other occasion, CU led Kansas by two in the 2000 meet, only to finish second to the Jayhawks by eight strokes.  The last time CU led a meet was two years ago, when it won the 2004 Western Intercollegiate in Santa Clara, Calif.


                "The whole speech I gave the team before we started was about being committed and tough to the finish," interim head coach Brad Neher said.  "That's what I told them I expected this week, and through two rounds, they've met the challenge.


                "We played like we have been all spring, very solid, but today we closed with a lot of toughness in some nasty weather, which in turn, got us into the lead," Neher continued.  "I like where we are, and I feel confident that we can continue to play the same way (Tuesday).  How we finished off today was a big step in the right direction." 


                CU had four players in the top 19, the only school to do so, as senior Edward McGlasson and junior Ryan Anderson led the way with 4-over 148 totals.  McGlasson shot a pair of 74s, while Anderson opened with a 76 and came back to register an even-par 72 in the afternoon, bested by just two others in the field.  The duo is tied for sixth, just four shots out of the lead.


                Senior Kenny Coakley, one of the six to shoot par or better in the morning with a 72, is tied for 11th at 149 after an afternoon 77, while sophomore Patrick Grady is tied for 19th with a 75-76?151 effort.


                CU's entire active team is the field, as three are playing individually without their scores counting to CU's team total.  Sophomore Jim Grady is one of those, as he is tied for 24th with a 74-78?152 scorecard.


                "I am very pleased with Ryan's 72 in the afternoon, which was easily equivalent to a subpar round in those conditions," Neher said.  "That should boost his confidence dramatically.  Kenny played very well, too.  He had just a couple of bad swings, but otherwise played really solid, and I am continued to be pleased with Patrick's progress.  And Ed is Ed; he's never out of range.  He didn't putt well today, but he's still right there in sixth place, and has a chance to win.  He knows what he has to do."


                "I had a tough time getting into any kind of rhythm," McGlasson said.  "The putts didn't fall when I needed them to.  I just kept pressing on and did what I could.  Once the elements arrived, you had to re-evaluate every shot.  You had to add more distance to your approach shots, and on your putts, you had to expect them to change as well because they're not going to go as far as they did the first time around."


                "I made three bad golf swings in the afternoon, and I made two doubles and a triple, so that cost me," Coakley said.  "Otherwise, I really felt I played as well, if not better, in the afternoon than I did in the morning.  It felt good to finally have the game come around."


                "I just had to stay patient and keep trying to hit good shots, give myself as many chances at birdie as I could," Anderson said of his afternoon par round, one of only three to match or better the score.  "I started out with a double, but I knew there was a lot of golf left and that everyone was going to have a hard time with that hole today (No. 2, played into the wind).  It felt good to post a round like that on a course like this."


                The final round of the tournament is scheduled Tuesday morning, commencing with an 8 a.m. (PST) shotgun start.




 T6. Edward McGlasson..... 74-74--148

 T6. Ryan Anderson........ 76-72--148

T11. Kenny Coakley........ 72-77--149

T19. Patrick Grady........ 76-75--151

T24. *Jim Grady........... 74-78--152

T38. *Diego Munoz......... 78-76--154

T58. Derek Tolan.......... 77-82--159

T71. *Justin Bardgett..... 89-77--166

 (*?competing individually; scores do not count toward CU team total.)




 1. Daniel Mitchell, Oklahoma City... 70-74--144

 2. Ross Hamann, Drake............... 76-69--145

 3. Ben Kern, Kansas State........... 73-73--146

T4. Matt Miller, Illinois State...... 72-75--147

T4. Cameron Bishop................... 73-74--147




 1. COLORADO.............. 298-298--596

 2. Kansas State.......... 295-302--597

 3. Drake................. 303-297--600

 4. Wichita State......... 297-304--601

 5. Boise State........... 306-296--602

 6. Illinois State........ 300-305--605

 6. Missouri.............. 306-299--605

 8. CSU-Stanislaus........ 297-310--607

 9. Birmingham Southern... 298-312--610

10. Oklahoma City......... 308-307--615

11. Iowa State............ 311-307--618

12. CSU-Chico............. 309-315--624

12. CSU-Monterey Bay...... 322-302--624

14. Air Force............. 323-311--634