Cowboys Struggle In First Round

It's a good thing freshman Talor Gooch and sophomore Sean Einhaus played Karsten Creek Golf Club on Tuesday like seasoned veterans because if they hadn't the No. 1-ranked Oklahoma State golf team may be out of the 2011 NCAA Men's Golf Championships after one round. As it is, the Cowboys are sitting nine strokes behind leader Georgia Tech in eighth place entering Wednesday's second round.

The Cowboys entered the tournament as heavy favorites to win the 11th national golf championship in school history after winning six of eight tournaments this spring and spending all year as the nation's No. 1-ranked college team.

As an added advantage, they are playing on the Karsten Creek course that senior Kevin Tway and juniors Peter Uihlein and Morgan Hoffmann have played hunderds, if not thousands, of times the past few years.

But OSU got off to a rocky start – Uihlein, Tway, Hoffmann and Einhaus each bogeyed the first or second hole of the day – and the Cowboys never recovered en route to shooting a 4-over par 292.

Uihlein, the nation's No. 1 ranked college player and the top amateur player in the world, shot a 1-over 73, while Tway finished with a 5-over 77 and Hoffmann shot a 3-over 75. Gooch and Einhaus both shot ever-par 72s.

"It wasn't, obviously, the round we wanted to play. The golf course was the most getable you're going to see it, and I don't care how much rough there is, there was no wind. You don't have any wind, you can hit every fairway,?" said Oklahoma State head coach Mike McGraw.

"They didn't hit it in all the fairways, got in some bad spots. If you get it above the hole, you're going to struggle, but it's OK. Tomorrow's a quick turnaround; we're going to be out here at 7 a.m. 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."

The Cowboys must finish among the top eight teams following 54 holes of play, concluding with Thursday's round, to advance to match play and remain in the hunt for the program's first national title since 2006.

"I think it's just one of those days where the ball might not have been bouncing our way," said Uihlein. "I'm not too worried. I know (Morgan) Hoffmann and Kevin (Tway) will play better. Sean (Einhaus) and Taylor (Gooch) played well today and they'll definitely keep it up. So, I'm not too worried about it.

Georgia Tech junior James White shot a 5-under par 67 to take the individual lead after 18 holes and help the fourth-ranked Yellow Jackets to a three-stroke lead over No. 2 UCLA. Third-ranked Alabama sits in third place at even par.

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