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Golfers Zoom Into Third In Hawaii
Release: February 05, 2009
By: David Plati, Associate AD/Sports Information
Grady's 69 topped CU Thursday as he joined the top five.
Photo Courtesy: CUBuffs.com
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                KOHALA COAST, Hawai’i — The University of Colorado men’s golf team moved up five notches into third place here Thursday after two rounds of the Hawai’i-Hilo Invitational, and is in position to make a big statement in the first tournament of the spring season.

 

                Second-ranked Southern Cal assumed the lead after 36 holes, as the Trojans recorded a 4-under 284 in the second round, the day’s best team score, for a 569 total (7-under).  No. 11 Washington, the first round leader, holds second, going from four strokes ahead to four behind at 573.

 

The Buffaloes, ranked No. 48 by Golfweek, recorded the second round’s second best score, a 1-over 289, and zoomed from eighth to third in the standings with an 8-over 584.  No. 5 Stanford and No. 16 Texas Tech round out the top five, as both are shot behind CU.

 

                The field is comprised of seven top 20 and 10 top 50 teams in the Golfweek rankings as of January 27.  If the Buffs can hold on to or even improve their position, not only would it be one of the best opening tournaments for the spring season in school history, CU would be poised to make a big jump in the national rankings.

 

                Senior Patrick Grady is tied for fifth to lead CU’s effort here.  Grady, who opened the tournament losing two balls on his first five holes among the lava rocks that border the 6,913-yard, par-72 North Course at the Mauna Lani Resort, rallied for a first round 73 and then zipped around the track in posting a 3-under 69 for a 142 total, four out of the lead.  His round Thursday was just one of four rounds in the 60s and among the 12 subpar rounds logged by the 100-man field.

 

                “I’ve been playing well all week, and with it being so windy, you can’t play that well without hitting it that well,” Grady said of the winds gusting at times to 35 miles per hour.  “It was playing really tough, and we must have played seven straight holes into the wind and seven down wind.  That was a good team score we posted in those conditions, and it feels really good to be playing better, especially after the rough finish we had in the fall.”

 

                        Freshman Johnny Widmer put a 1-over 73 into the books in for a 143 (1-under) total, tying him for ninth place.  He’ll be gunning for his first top 20 or better finish as a collegian Friday, as he is playing in just his second collegiate tournament.

 

                Washington’s Richard Lee is the individual leader, after a 2-under 70 dropped him to 6-under 138 through two rounds, good for a two stroke lead over two players.  Washington and USC each have three players in the top nine, while CU has two.

 

Junior Luke Symons is tied for 31st after a 2-over 74 gave him a 149 total, while senior Derek Tolan, the team leader in stroke average, bounced back from an opening round 78 with a 1-over 73 for a 151 score, tying him for 42nd.  Tolan and Grady were two of just seven players in the top 50 that shot four strokes or better the second time around the Mauna Lani track.

 

Rounding out the CU action was junior Justin Bardgett, who shot a 4-over 76 for a 153 total (tie-53rd), and freshman Kevin Kring , who is participating here as an individual (his score does not count toward CU’s total); he also knocked five strokes off his opening effort with a 3-over 75 for a 155 score (tie-62nd).

 

“I am certainly pleased overall, we’re competitive right now with some of the top teams in the country that don’t have to deal with the (winter) weather that we do,” head coach Roy Edwards said.  “We all have rust to shake off, but some teams here have the natural opportunity to play almost every day between the fall and spring seasons, and we obviously don’t have that.  So to be where we are through two rounds right now is very gratifying, and there’s no reason we can’t continue to play this way.  We just have to go out there and do it.

 

“Pat did a great job of staying control of things, Johnny has continued to play solid, and Derek played much better today.  In fact, all but one Buff shot a lower score in the second round and any of these guys are poised to go low at any time.

 

                Colorado’s had a good track record of playing well in the final round this year, as the Buffs best round statistically has been the third with four players also averaging their best scores. 

 

 “We kind of embrace this position,” Edwards said.  “We’ve been playing our best golf in the last round, which is when you should be doing it.  You’ve learned more about the course by that time and how you should be playing it, and because we’ve been able to do that, that’s why we’ve done fairly well.  There are a lot of good teams around us, and one of these teams could shoot lights out and pass us (Friday), but that wouldn’t mean that we didn’t play well.  So we’re going to concentrate on our own games and see what happens.”

 

                The third and final round is scheduled for Friday with a 10:30 a.m. (MST) shotgun start.

 

 BUFFALO INDIVIDUALS                                                                                    

T  5.  Patrick Grady.................................. 73-69—142

T  9.  Johnny Widmer................................ 70-73—143

T31.  Luke Symons................................. 75-74—149

T42.  Derek Tolan.................................... 78-73—151

T53.  Justin Bardgett................................ 77-76—153

T62.  *Kevin Kring.................................. 80-75—155

 (*—playing as an individual; scores do not count toward CU team total) 

 

 TOP 5 INDIVIDUALS                                                                                      

  1.  Richard Lee, Washington.................. 68-70—138

  2.  Garrett Merrell, Texas Tech............... 70-70—140

  2.  Nick Taylor, Washington.................. 69-71—140

  4.  Chris Killmer, Washington................ 71-70—141

  5.  Patrick Grady, Colorado................ 73-69—142

 

 TEAM SCORES

  1.  Southern California....................... 285-284—569

  2.  Washington................................. 281-292—573

  3.  COLORADO............................... 295-289—584

  4.  Stanford..................................... 294-291—585

  4.  Texas Tech................................. 291-294—585

  6.  Oregon....................................... 287-299—586

  7.  Arizona State.............................. 296-291—587

  8.  TCU........................................... 291-297—588

  9.  Cal-Davis................................... 299-294—593

10.  Georgia Tech............................... 301-295—596

11.  Oklahoma................................... 294-303—597

12.  Florida State............................... 311-293—604

13.  Hawaii-Hilo................................. 300-310—610

14.  Kansas...................................... 309-314—623

14.  Fresno State..............................  308-315—623

16.  San Francisco............................. 312-316—628

17.  Hawaii....................................... 314-328—642

 

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