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Golfers Second in CU-Stevinson Ranch Invitational

Mar 26, 2007

                STEVINSON, Calif.- Sophomore Derek Tolan shot the second best round of the afternoon to lead the University of Colorado men's golf team into second place in the standings as the first two rounds of the ninth annual CU-Stevinson Ranch Invitational were completed here Monday.
 

                No. 57 Wichita State posted an impressive two rounds, as the Shockers closed the day with a 572 team score, which is 4-under par.  The No. 59 Buffaloes moved from third after the first round up a notch into second, as CU has a 9-over 585 score.  Missouri is a distant third with a 596 total, while four teams are tied for fourth with 598 totals, No. 53 Kansas, Illinois State, UC-Davis and UC-Santa Barbara.

 

                WSU built its lead on the strength of a 7-under par 281 in the opening round, which tied for the second lowest 18 hole team score in tournament history.  Kansas recorded a 280 in the second round of the 2004 meet, and the Shockers' opening round here has been matched on only two other occasions, and did tie for the lowest opening round effort.

 

                The weather pulled a 180 Monday, as conditions were pristine for the morning round as well as for the start of play in the afternoon, with temperatures in the mid-60s and barely a breeze with clear skies.  But by the end of the second round, temperatures dropped into the mid-50s, with winds gusting from 26 to 35 miles per hour, topped off by light to medium rainfall for the final two holes.

 

                Tolan, who opened with a 74, got better as the weather went in the opposite direction.  He was even through nine holes, and was 3-under at one point before closing with a bogey for a 2-under 70, just one of six subpar rounds in the afternoon.  His 144 total, even on the day, has him tied for sixth individually.

 

                In the morning, there were 13 subpar and four even rounds on Stevinson, more than usual for this tournament, but those decreased to six and two, respectively, once the weather changed.

 

                "Actually, whenever it gets really nasty out, I get kind of a calming sense about me," Tolan said.  "I know the majority of if not everybody in the field is going to let something get to them.  Ever since I was young, I always made it a point to play in bad or even quite challenging weather, so it doesn't scare me and often I thrive in it.  For whatever reason, I truly enjoy it, because you don't have to do anything special.  Just keep it on land and make your short putts, because you'll almost always make up a lot of ground on the field."

 

                Tolan is playing this spring like he was early in his freshman year, when he posted three top 10 finishes in his first semester on the college circuit.  He credits a couple of different things for his improvement.

 

                "I just played so bad there for awhile, there just wasn't any real place to go other than back toward the top," he said.  "I--ve started to hit the ball better, but really it's because I've started to manage things a lot better.  And not just in golf, but in life."

 

                Senior Blake Moore, who tallied CU's other subpar effort of the day, a 1-under 71 in the morning, added a 75 for a 146 score, tying him for 11th.  Junior Patrick Grady also had a 75 in the afternoon to go with an even-par 72 his first time around the track, with his 147 total good for a 14th place tie.  Senior Ryan Anderson posted a pair of 74s for a 148 total, tying him for 17th. 

 

                Wichita State, with four in the top 14, and CU's four in the top 17 give the two team leaders eight spots in the top 20 heading into the final 18 holes.  The Shockers also had the best second round score of 291, with CU's afternoon 294 the only other sub-300 effort.

               

                The entire CU active team of eight players is competing here, three individually whose scores do not count toward the team total.  Two other members of the team are redshirting.

 

                "We talked about opening with a good start, and we more or less did that," CU head coach Roy Edwards said.  "I was very pleased with our performance in the afternoon.  There were tough conditions and the fact that we finished on some difficult holes, I liked that we were able to stay composed and handle that pressure.

 

                "Wichita State is playing great.  We need to set our sights on trying to catch them and to have a solid round tomorrow," Edwards added.  "We're trying to move forward, to gain momentum.  It will be difficult to catch them, but our goal going is to gain as many shots as we can and see what happens from there."

 

                CU will be paired again with Wichita State, as well as third place Missouri in the final round.

 

                WSU was aided in the morning by the third hole-in-one in the CU-Stevinson Ranch meet annals, as freshman Dustin Garza aced the 214-yard, par-3 No. 16 hole, using a solid 5-iron to just in front of the pin with the ball capturing the right line to the hole.  Garza, who shot a 70 including a 32 on the back nine, joined Ben Leetsma of Air Force (No. 12 in 2002) and Brian Anderson of Illinois State (No. 7 in 2004) to record a hole-in-one in the competition, though Garza accomplished it on arguably the toughest par-3 hole on the course.  He then came back and birdied the same hole his second time through, almost as impressive as the ace considering the change of the weather.

  

                Colorado, Kansas and Wichita State are vying for better seeding the NCAA's District 5 (central region), as the three occupy the third through fifth spots by both the coaches and in the Golfweek rankings, though in different orders.

 

                UCSB senior Joe Ryon, tied for fifth individually as one of five players to record a 2-under par 70 to open the day, shot a 31 on the back nine, tying the tournament mark for the best score on a side, as he was 5-under.  Kansas' Kevin Ward also had a 31 on the front nine during his second round back in 2005.  Ryon added a 75 in the p.m. to stand tied for eighth.

 

                Wichita State's Cameron Bishop is the individual leader through 36 holes, as he posted a 69-70--139 scorecard to stand 5-under par, good for a two shot lead over three others.  Illinois State's Matt Miller is among that trio, as he shot the afternoon's best round, a 4-under 68, the onl round in the 60s.  UC-Davis senior Louie Bishop had led after the first round with a 5-under 67.

 

                The final round of the tournament is scheduled to get underway with a shotgun start at 8:00 a.m. (PST) Tuesday.

 

 BUFFALO INDIVIDUALS

 (*--playing individually; scores do not count toward team total)

   T6.  Derek Tolan................................ 74-70--144

T11.  Blake Moore................................ 71-75--146

T14.  Patrick Grady.............................. 72-75--147

T17.  Ryan Anderson.......................... 74-74--148

T52.  Michael Baird............................. 74-82--156

T63.  *Tom Gempel............................. 72-87--159

T67.  *Luke Symons............................ 79-81--160

T67.  *Jim Grady................................. 80-80--160

 

 TOP FIVE INDIVIDUALS

 1.  Cameron Bishop, Wichita St.... 69-70--139

 2.  Matt Miller, Illinois State........... 73-68--141           

 2.  Dustin Garza, Wichita State...... 70-71--141           

 2.  Stephen Clark, UMKC................ 70-71--141           

 5.  Louie Bishop, UC-Davis............. 67-75--142

 

 TEAM SCORES

  1.  Wichita State.......................... 281-291--572

 2.  COLORADO................ 291-294--585

  3.  Missouri.................................. 296-300--596

  4.  Kansas..................................... 294-304--598

  4.  Illinois State............................ 296-302--598

  4.  UC-Santa Barbara.................. 294-304--598

  4.  UC-Davis................................. 289-309--598

  8.  UMKC...................................... 299-300--599

  9.  Akron....................................... 296-308--604

10.  Iowa State............................... 302-303--605

11.  Drake....................................... 299-307--606

12.  Oklahoma City........................ 297-310--607

13.  Air Force................................. 304-312--616

14.  CSU-Stanislaus....................... 302-321--623

15.  Hawai'i-Hilo............................ 316-318--634