Story by David Plati, University of Colorado
STEVINSON RANCH, CA (March 27, 2006) -- 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
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
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.
TOP FIVE INDIVIDUALS
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