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Golfers Slip To 21st After Two Rounds At NCAA Regionals

May 19, 2006

                CHARDON, Ohio - The University of Colorado men's golf team slipped two positions here Friday into 21st place in the 18th Annual NCAA Central Regional, and is now faced with having to play its best round of the year if the Buffs hope to have any chance to earn a top 10 finish and advance to the national finals later this month.

 

                The top 10 teams, along with the top two individuals will advance to the NCAA Championship Finals.  At this point, the Buffs need to make up 21 strokes, which will be a challenge, as CU will be playing in the afternoon grouping as the top 15 teams go out in the morning.  But Colorado has rallied before, as in 1999 in Columbus, 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.  It remains the second largest comeback in regional history.

 

                However, for CU to rally this time around, its five players here know they have the daunting task of trying to pull off one of the all-time comebacks in NCAA Championship history.

 

                No. 2 ranked Oklahoma State added to its first round lead, as the Cowboys posted the best score in the second round, a 1-over 285, for a 3-under 565 total through 36 holes.  OSU built its lead from one to nine strokes over No. 26 Northwestern (574), with No. 9 Texas A&M right there at 575, as there was no change in the top three in the standings.  No. 21 Lamar is in fourth at 581, and No. 4 Georgia Tech and Minnesota are tied for fifth at 583.

 

                Colorado, seeded 19th in the region and ranked No. 58 in the nation, was tied for 19th after the first round, having to endure temperatures in the 40s, wind chill in the 30s thanks to 20-plus mile per hour gusts and heavy rains. 

 

                The weather continued to be an issue here Friday, as a light steady rain fell throughout the day with temperatures never topping the 50-degree mark.  The course conditions continued to deteriorate in the afternoon, with standing water an issue on virtually every hole.  The only time the weather has cleared here was for Thursday's afternoon rounds, giving the teams seeded 1 through 15 an even bigger advantage over the rest of the field on the challenging 7,173-yard, par-71 Sand Ridge Golf Club course.

 

                The Buffs were hoping to catch fire out of the box, but managed just three birdies and 22 pars on the front nine, and though scoring just one double bogey, still turned at 11-over.  As the weather worsened, they did a good job of hanging on as best they could, with five birdies and 28 pars on the back nine, but had three double bogeys.

 

                Senior Edward McGlasson continued to lead the way for the Buffaloes, as he shot a 77 for a 150 total, which has him tied for 59th individually.  If the team cannot advance, even though he is ranked as one of the nation's top 25 golfers, he needs to be in the top two individually to advance to the finals as a solo performer.  While things will likely dramatically change, the top score by a non-team qualifying member through two rounds is 143; thus, McGlasson likely needs to shoot in the mid-to-upper 60s Saturday to have a shot if the Buffs don't rally as a team.

 

                McGlasson's scores eerily match how he opened last year in the regional in South Bend, also recording rounds of 73 and 77; he closed with a 73 a year ago.  He never got untracked Friday, scoring seven bogeys in his first 17 holes before closing the round with his one and only birdie, though he go free of double bogeys for the 27th time in 37 rounds in 2005-06.

 

                "Unfortunately, we were on the wrong side of the coin and had to play in some pretty adverse conditions, and we started off behind the 8-ball," McGlasson said.  "Ultimately (Saturday), we would love to qualify, so we all need to go out and play our best and see how things turn out.  I know this may seem impossible, but if we all persevere and play to our best potential, anything can happen.

 

                "I've thought about how it could be my last collegiate round, and it's kind of scary," he added.  "However, I'm not worried about what lies ahead after tomorrow, I'm only concerned with going out and playing my best and am looking forward the opportunity that the team has to rally and make some noise."

 

                CU's other senior, Kenny Coakley, had CU's best round of the day, a 4-over par 75, as he is tied for 68th with a 151 total.  He managed three birdies for the second straight day, fighting through things and even having some fun.

 

                "I think this was the best 75 I've ever shot in my life," he said.  "As crazy as it sounds, I am having fun.  That's the only way to approach this as it makes it bearable."

 

                Redshirt freshman Derek Tolan had the steadiest round by the Buffs, as he recorded a team-high 12 pars, but he only managed one red number (birdie) against four bogeys and a double bogey in posting a 76 for a 154 total through 36 holes.  That left him tied for 89th overall.

 

                Sophomore Patrick Grady shot a 6-over 77 for a 156 total, tying him for 102nd, as he matched Coakley's team best with three birdies, two coming on the last three holes of the day.  He had some tough luck starting his back nine, as he doubled No. 10.

 

                "I had just birdied number nine and was starting to get into a rhythm, and things just got a bit away from me on 10," Grady said.  "I was pleased with my finish, especially the birdie on 16 as that hole played pretty tough." 

 

                Junior Ryan Anderson shot a second consecutive 79 for a 158 total, tying him for 118th.  He had a "terrible time getting untracked," as he had seven bogeys the first eight holes, but settled down at the turn.  "I was 1-under for a while after I got some hot chocolate in me, I guess I needed another cup," he mused after scoring a birdie on No. 11 and played the back just 1-over par overall.

 

                Oklahoma State's Zack Robinson used the best individual round of the tournament to take over the individual lead.  He played just about a perfect round, scoring five birdies and 13 pars en route to a 5-under 66 for a 137 total through two rounds.  That leads his teammate, Jonathan Moore, by one shot, as he carded a second straight 69 for a 138 total.

 

                Only two of the holes played under par in the first round (both par fives) and just one did so Friday (the par-5 No. 18), as the average score for the 141 players in the field continued to climb.  It was 75.41 for the first round and 76.44 the second time around for an average of 75.93, or almost five strokes over par.

 

                The final round begins at 5 a.m. MDT Saturday, with the top 15 seeds off first.  Colorado will start things at 10:12 a.m. off the No. 10 tee and is paired with Siena and Xavier; live scoring is available at www.golfstat.com.  The Buffaloes likely need a couple of scores in the 60s and two others at par to have a shot at significantly climbing in the standings.  

 

                The low 10 teams will advance to the NCAA Championship Finals in Sunriver, Ore., May 31-June 3. 

 

 BUFFALO INDIVIDUALS

 T59. Edward McGlasson.............. 73-77?150

 T68. Kenny Coakley................. 76-75?151

 T89. Derek Tolan................... 78-76?154

T102. Patrick Grady................. 79-77?156

T118. Ryan Anderson................. 79-79?158

 

 TOP FIVE INDIVIDUALS

 1. Zack Robinson, Oklahoma State... 71-66?137

 2. Jonathan Moore, Oklahoma State.. 69-69?138

 3. Bronson Burgoon, Texas A&M...... 68-71?139

 3. Dawie Van der Walt, Lamar....... 70-69?139

 5. Bobby Bennett, Purdue........... 68-73?141

 5. Chris Wilson, Northwestern...... 67-74?141

 5. David Merkow, Northwestern...... 68-73?141

 

 TEAM SCORES

 1. Oklahoma State................ 280-285?565

 2. Northwestern.................. 281-293?574

 3. Texas A & M................... 284-291?575

 4. Lamar......................... 286-295?581

 5. Georgia Tech.................. 295-288?583

 5. Minnesota..................... 291-292?583

 7. Duke.......................... 286-301?587

 8. Clemson....................... 296-294?590

 8. Oklahoma...................... 292-298?590

 8. TCU........................... 293-297?590

11. Texas......................... 291-301?592

11. Tulsa......................... 297-295?592

13. Kentucky...................... 291-302?593

14. Purdue........................ 291-303?594

15. SMU........................... 294-301?595

16. Texas-Arlington............... 298-307?605

16. Missouri...................... 306-299?605

18. Kent State.................... 296-310?606

18. Siena......................... 302-304?606

20. Xavier........................ 307-303?610

21. COLORADO...................... 306-305?611

22. Kansas State.................. 306-307?613

23. Nebraska...................... 306-318?624

24. Eastern Kentucky.............. 309-318?627

25. St. Francis................... 324-304?628

26. Cleveland State............... 318-315?633

27. Princeton..................... 324-311?635