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Men's Golfers In Seventh In Louisiana

Mar 5, 2007

               LAFAYETTE, La. -- Junior Michael Baird was on fire here Monday, as he recorded a 6-under par 66 in the second round to help the University of Colorado men's golf team into seventh place in the standings after two rounds of the 21st Annual Louisiana Classics.

 

               Baird's effort ignited a 6-under 282 score for the Buffaloes the second time round the 7,002-yard, par-72 Oakbourne Country Club course layout, which jumped CU from 10th after a 5-over 293 score in the morning into seventh, just seven shots out of second place.

 

               No. 52 Southeastern Louisiana owns the lead with a 14-under 562 score, with No. 6 Lamar holding down second with a 568 total.  Colorado's 575 total is also just two out of the top five, as the Buffaloes came in ranked No. 62 in the nation, but their afternoon round was the fifth best on the day for either round.

 

               Baird hit 16 greens and made nine birdies and six pars en route to his afternoon 66, which tied the fourth lowest score in tournament history; 63 is the meet record and there were two 65s Monday.  He started on No. 11 both rounds, and turned in identical 33s on each nine. He opened with a 74, and his 140 total has him tied for ninth heading into Tuesday's final round.

 

               "I started putting well, and I hit it better than in the morning," Baird said.  "I hit some close, and I made some bombs.  It could've been even better had I not bogeyed a couple of the par fives that were really birdie holes.  I hit a bunch of greens and I made a bunch of putts.  Some times it's just that simple."

 

               He completely turned things around from a bad practice round Sunday and Monday's morning round.  "I just wasn't hitting it well--I hit it terrible in the practice round, so I started tinkering on the range and things finally came together in the middle of the first round.  I got off to a bad start, but did get it back to even before I bogeyed a couple of holes finishing up in the morning."

 

               Sophomore Derek Tolan posted a 74-70--144 scorecard to stand even and in a tie for 22nd, as he rebounded from missing his first ever tournament for CU after he didn't qualify for last week's Houston All-American.  His 2-under round in the afternoon matched his best effort of the season, going back to the first 18 holes in the New Mexico Tucker Invitational, CU's second tournament last fall.

 

               Junior Patrick Grady shot CU's best score to open the day with an even par 72, then countered with a 1-over 73 for a 145 score, tying him for 27th.  Senior Blake Moore carded a pair of 73s for a 146 total (good for 33rd), with junior Tom Gempel rounding out the CU quintet here, as he struggled a but to a 77-79--156 performance.

 

               "I'm really proud of what we did in the afternoon," CU head coach Roy Edwards said.  "Michael played a great round, and Derek did a great job coming back.  He's been struggling a bit but he's starting to play more like he knows he's capable of today. The guys have been battling, and we're excited to have a chance at a good finish tomorrow.  We're starting to believe in ourselves, which will be key for us to be successful down the road."

 

               Kansas' Gary Woodland, who was the medalist in Houston last week, is again atop the field, as he posted a 70-65--135 for a two shot lead over two others heading into the final round, which will commence at 7 a.m. mountain time Tuesday.

 

               This is the 17th time, all consecutive, that the Buffaloes are playing in this tournament, and CU is shooting for its third top five finish here, hoping to join or better fifth place efforts in the 2000 and 2001 events.  Colorado's after round of 282 was the best single round score it has ever posted in the tournament (47 total rounds), besting an opening 284 in 2000.

 

 BUFFALO INDIVIDUALS

T  9.  Michael Baird........................... 74-66--140

T22.  Derek Tolan.............................. 74-70--144

T27.  Patrick Grady........................... 72-73--145

T33.  Blake Moore............................. 73-73--146

T76.  Tom Gempel............................. 77-79--156

 

 TOP FIVE INDIVIDUALS

 1.  Gary Woodland, Kansas.............. 70-65--135

 2.  Colt Knost, SMU......................... 67-70--137

 2.  Aaron O'Callaghan, SE La. .......... 70-67--137

 4.  Colton Williams, Baylor............... 73-65--138

 4.  Justin Harding, Lamar................ 69-69--138

 4.  Patrick Neagle, Illinois................ 69-69--138

 

 TEAM SCORES

   1.  SE Louisiana......................... 277-285--562

   2.  Lamar.................................... 281-287--568

   3.  Louisiana-Lafayette.............. 289-280--569

   4.  Baylor.................................... 290-280--570

   5.  Illinois.................................... 287-286--573

   5.  SMU...................................... 288-285--573

   7.  COLORADO.......................... 293-282--575

   8.  Memphis............................... 290-289--579

   9.  Kent State............................. 290-292--582

10.  Louisiana Tech...................... 292-292--584

11.  Kansas................................... 297-288--585

12.  North Texas.......................... 298-289--587

13.  Houston................................. 301-291--592

14.  Texas State........................... 298-295--593

15.  Arkansas State..................... 305-302--607