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OSU Falters In Ideal Conditions



No wind.

88 degrees.

12:20 tee time.

Home course.

Sounds like a recipe for a tasty -10 team score on the first day of the NCAAs, right? Well it does sound that way but that’s not how things played out at Karsten Creek on Tuesday. The Cowboys slugged their way to a +4 score of 292 which isn’t bad, and good enough for 8th place, but definitely not what they were gunning for.

The whole day started out all wrong for the Pokes. Ron Balicki tweeted that Kevin Tway was stung by a wasp before he even teed off on hole #10 (OSU’s starting hole) and that was about the best thing that happened to him in Round 1. Tway posted a hideous 77 just two weeks after becoming the first college golfer to ever win three Regional tournaments.

The rest of his crew didn’t fare much better. Talor Gooch and Sean Einhaus (the #4 and #5 players on OSU’s team) posted 72s, Uihlein had a 73, and Morgan Hoffman threw up a 75. Not exactly the “we play this course every day and we own it” vibe you got from them going in.

Here’s the thing, I could care less what OSU shoots in the first three rounds. All you have to do to make it to the match play portion of the event is finish the first three days in the top eight. And this team could sleepwalk its way to the top eight.

After round 1 last year the Cowboys were in first and ended up losing the title to Augusta State in the final round in a “storybook ending” we don’t need to keep reliving. So as they unwittingly proved last year your standing after the first 18 holes matters very little. I know the team loathes the match play format the way Jermaine Gresham loathes reading, but in this case it might actually work to their advantage.

Just get to the weekend, let everyone else get worn down mentally, and let it ride from there.

The only thing that worries me is that this is the worst they’ve come out of the gate all year. Their previous worst standing after day 1 was at the UCF challenge in October when they claimed 6th and finished the tournament in 5th. Again though, that doesn’t matter as much here because 5th still gets them to the weekend and plus this is the most stout field they’ve seen all year.

I’ll let Mike McGraw sum up my feelings with his quote after today’s round – “We are going to be out here at 7 a.m. [on Wednesday] and those greens are going to be perfect, and you’re not going to be waiting on the group in front of you. You just play nine holes without any stress, so if you can go out there and get a good number posted tomorrow morning, you’ll be fine.”

So yeah I probably don’t need to remind you, but big day tomorrow.

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