Golfers Finish 21st At NCAA Central Regional
CHARDON, Ohio - The University of Colorado men's golf team saw its season filled with emotion and some turbulence come to an end here Saturday, as the Buffaloes finished 21st in the 18th Annual NCAA Central Regional, failing to qualify for the championship finals later this month.
No. 2 ranked Oklahoma State led from wire-to-wire, as the Cowboys closed strong with a 4-under 280 team score, Saturday's only team round under par, easily winning by 16 strokes with an 845 total. No. 26 Northwestern grabbed second (861) while No. 9 Texas A&M and No. 4 Georgia Tech tied for third at 867; the top three remained unchanged from start to finish for the first time in Central Regional history, the only slight alteration being that the Yellow Jackets caught the Aggies for third in the final standings. Lamar rounded out the top five with an 869 score, earning its first-ever trip to the national finals.
The low 10 teams advanced on to the NCAA Championship Finals in Sunriver, Ore., set for May 31-June 3.
Colorado shot its best round of the tournament, a 16-over par 300, finishing in 21st place with a 911 total.
It signaled the conclusion of a very emotional season for the Buffaloes, who had to endure the death of their popular head coach, Mark Simpson, who died from complications due to cancer last December, and interim coach Brad Neher stepping down in April for personal reasons.
Colorado was hoping to make it to the NCAA Championship Finals, as whatever they accomplished here would still count under Simpson's watch. CU's head coach of 29 years still had his teams reach the NCAA's 16 times, qualifying or advancing to the finals on seven occasions.
CU, seeded 19th in the region and ranked No. 58 in the nation, was tied for 19th after the first round and had slipped two notches to 21st after 36 holes. Thus, the Buffs had their work cut for them, entering the final round some 21 strokes out of the 10th and final position that would make the cut. CU held its position in the standings, but finished some 27 shots out of 10th place.
The weather cleared Saturday, and while brisk and windy at times, rains that had plagued the Cleveland area for much of the previous eight days finally ceased, though on the 7,173-yard, par-71 Sand Ridge Golf Club course still played tough with traditionally tough final round pin placements.
Senior Edward McGlasson was CU's top performer for the 10th time in 12 tournaments this season, as. he finished with a 7-over par 220 total, tying for 30th overall. But he made a serious run at advancing to the NCAA Finals as an individual.
McGlasson was seven strokes out of advancing as an individual through 36 holes, with the margin dropping to five strokes when he teed off Saturday on No. 10. When he turned at 1-under, he had closed to within two strokes of tying the second low individual. He remained at 1-under until he bogeyed No. 6, but then had the shot of the day on No. 7.
From 137 yards out, he eagled the par-4 as he holed out his wedge shot to move to 2-under, just one stroke away at the time from pulling into a tie for the last individual shot. After his approach on the par-3 No. 8 landed five feet to the left of the hole, it looked like he would be joining a playoff, but he three-putted for a bogey and then closed with par, still recording CU's best single round of the meet with a 1-under 70.
As it turned out, Kansas State's Robert Streb birdied four of his last six holes to finish at 3-over par, with Texas' Randy Lowry the other player advancing to the finals, as he was 4-over.
"At the beginning of the day, I knew the end (of my college career) was near, but the big question mark was when," McGlasson said. "Would it be today, or at nationals? I decided early that I was not going to focus on anything after today and simply focus on what was right in front of me. The front nine was a roller coaster, I had four birdies and managed to shoot just one under par. But I still knew I had a chance on the back nine, so I was pleased for providing myself the opportunity to have that chance. I played solid, and barely missed a few pouts that would have had me in better position coming down the stretch.
"When I holed my shot on seven, I knew I really had a chance to be in the mix and after my approach shot on eight, walking up to the green I felt I had put myself in the perfect position to make the next step," McGlasson said. "I thought I hit the perfect putt (from 5-feet); I took an aggressive line as I knew it was a make-or-break situation, and unfortunately I burned it by the hole and it rolled past about eight feet. Coming back, I thought hit that putt well, but it just lipped out .
On nine, I realized the only chance I had was to make eagle on the last hole, and it was in the back of my mind, but I had to do everything I could to make par," he added. "But in the end, I had it in the red (1-under 70) for my last round as a collegiate golfer and it's time to move on."
He has CU's only eagle of the regional, and played his 28th double bogey-free round of the season (out of 38 total), adhering to Simpson's coaching to eliminate double bogeys, which in turns keeps you in contention in tournament play.
McGlasson finished the season with a 72.42 stroke average, the third best figure in CU history, trailing only his one time teammate, Kane Webber (71.46 in 2003-04) and the legendary Hale Irwin (72.04 in 1965-66). His career average of 73.54 is also the third best in Buff annals, behind only Webber (72.90) and Scott Petersen (74.37); it's the second best figure for 100-plus rounds other than Webber. His spring stroke average of 71.85 was the second best behind Webber's 71.30 recorded two years ago. McGlasson played 144 rounds, tied for third most at CU, had 13 top 10 tournament finishes, the sixth most by a Buff, and had 20 top 20 finishes, the seventh most.
"On the topic of what I accomplished in my career, it brings me a personal satisfaction on the individual level, but ultimately in college, this is a team sport, and this was a team from day one," McGlasson said. "I would have loved to accomplish more as a team, but it is what is, and ultimately its bittersweet what we set out to accomplish as a team.
"As I look back on my four years at Colorado, I couldn't be more blessed, I'm so thankful that I was able to be under the tutelage of Coach Simpson," McGlasson said. "He was an amazing man, and words cannot describe the impact that he has had on me, and that he will continue to have for the rest of my life. Lastly, I would like to thank the Lord for giving me strength and the ability to persevere through such a tough year, and I also want to thank my parents for accompanying me throughout this journey and to everyone in the athletic department at CU. I could not have accomplished what I have done without everyone's help."
Senior, Kenny Coakley had CU's next best effort here, tying for 75th after a final round 76 for a 227 total, or 14-over par. He made the turn at even par, but closed with five bogeys, as it hit him that this was his last collegiate round as well.
"Overall, it was bittersweet," Coakley said. "I really didn't accomplish what I wanted to in college, but it was a good steppingstone for what I want to do at the next level. Although I didn't accomplish what I set out to do, it helped me grow as a person and a golfer and to set the stage for hopefully bigger and better things. Hopefully I will learn from all my experiences."
"Getting to be in contact with my past and present teammates has been an exciting experience, and it's something I wouldn't trade for anything," he added. "I just feel bad that we couldn't have gone out on a better note, but that's golf. Not everybody can win. Coach Simpson taught me a lot in my career, and this week, I thought a lot of about him and the way he would teach us to play championship golf courses. A lot of what he taught me will not only help me in my professional golf career, but he taught me a lot of life's lessons for all my future endeavors. It was a privilege to be among those who were fortunate to play for him."
McGlasson will turn professional within the next month, while Coakley will turn pro for July's Denver Open.
Redshirt freshman Derek Tolan had his best round of the regional with a closing 75, giving him a 229 total that tied him for 90th place. It finished off one of the best freshman seasons in CU history, as he posted the seventh best single season stroke average (74.80) by a frosh, with his five top 10 finishes an all-time school best by a newbie.
Sophomore Patrick Grady closed with a 79 for a 235 scorecard, tying for 120th, while junior Ryan Anderson wrapped up the meet with an 82, finishing with a 240 total to tie for 129th.
Oklahoma State's Jonathan Moore used a final round 67 to wrestle medalist honors away from teammate Zack Robinson. Moore finished with an 8-under 213 total, while Robinson, who had the tournament's low round of 66 Friday, finished with an even par 71 for a 5-under 210 effort.
The average score was 75.6 here, with Saturday's 74.94 average by far the best for the three days.
The drama of the day came late in the morning round, when Kentucky got two birdies from its No. 5 player to bump Texas out of advancing to the finals. It marked the 13th time in 19 Central Regional events that the cut was either one stroke (eight times) or determined through a playoff (five times).
All five Buffaloes here plus two others on the team, Jim Grady and Derek O'Neill, will participate in Monday's U.S. Open qualifying at Lone Tree Golf Club south of Denver.
The program will now turn its full attention to hiring CU's next head coach. The job description will be posted within the week, and CU athletic director Mike Bohn hopes for the process to be completed in time for Colorado's next coach to be on board July 3, the first business day for the next fiscal year.
T30. Edward McGlasson......... 73-77-70?220
T75. Kenny Coakley............ 76-75-76?227
T90. Derek Tolan.............. 78-76-75?229
T120. Patrick Grady............ 79-77-79?235
T129. Ryan Anderson............ 79-79-82?240
TOP FIVE INDIVIDUALS
1. Jonathan Moore, Oklahoma State..... 69-69-67?205
2. Zack Robinson, Oklahoma State...... 71-66-71?208
3. Dawie Van der Walt, Lamar.......... 70-69-71?210
T4. Bronson Burgoon, Texas A&M........ 68-71-75?214
T4. Chris Wilson, Northwestern........ 67-74-73?214
T4. Kyle Moore, Northwestern.......... 73-71-70?214
T4. Andrew Parr, Texas A&M............ 68-74-72?214
T4. Cameron Tringale, Georgia Tech.... 71-71-72?214
T4. Anthony Kim, Oklahoma............. 73-71-70?214
1. Oklahoma State...... 280-285-280?845
2. Northwestern........ 281-293-287?861
3. Texas A & M......... 284-291-292?867
3. Georgia Tech........ 295-288-284?867
5. Lamar............... 286-295-288?869
6. Minnesota........... 291-292-291?874
7. Oklahoma............ 292-298-287?877
8. Clemson............. 296-294-291?881
9. Duke................ 286-301-296?883
10. Kentucky............ 291-302-291?884
----------------------Did Not Qualify For Finals---------------------
11. Texas............... 291-301-293?885
12. Purdue.............. 291-303-292?886
13. TCU................. 293-297-299?889
14. Tulsa............... 297-295-300?892
15. SMU................. 294-301-300?895
16. Texas-Arlington..... 298-307-296?901
16. Xavier.............. 307-303-291?901
18. Kansas State........ 306-307-290?903
19. Missouri............ 306-299-300?905
20. Kent State.......... 296-310-303?909
21. COLORADO............ 306-305-300?911
22. Nebraska............ 306-318-299?923
23. Siena............... 302-304-322?928
24. Eastern Kentucky.... 309-318-302?929
25. Cleveland State..... 318-315-301?934
26. Princeton........... 324-311-308?943
27. St. Francis......... 324-304-316?944