KU's Gary Woodland Among Contenders at Big 12 Golf

HUTCHINSON, Kan. - Oklahoma State fired a 19-over par 579 to take a five-stroke lead after the first 36 holes of the 2007 Big 12 Men's Golf Championship at Prairie Dunes Country Club (par 70, 6,611 yards).

The Cowboys were down by five strokes to Texas A&M after the first round before making a charge with a nine-over par 289 in the afternoon session. A&M is in second place with a 24-over 584 while Texas is third with a 31-over 591. The Aggies' five-over par 285 in the opening round was the best team score of the day.

"Prairie Dunes won today," said Oklahoma State head coach Mike McGraw. "It's an unbelievable course that exposes your weaknesses and it did that to everyone in the field. If you don't come away from Prairie Dunes a better player, I'd be surprised."

Texas Tech's Oscar Floren carded a one-over par 141 to top the individual leader board by one stroke over Texas A&M's Robert Gates. Floren shot a two-over 72 in the first round and came back to shoot a one-under 69 in the afternoon session.

"It would be a great boost (to win the tournament) because I have struggled a bit in the spring," said Floren. "I had surgery in early November and really didn't get back to golf (until spring). I've played really good the last two tournaments. The Big 12 is a championship. It would be great winning it. I'm going to try tomorrow to do what I did today, (hit) every shot."

Gates shot a 69 in the first round to tie Floren for the low score of the day. He and Floren were the only two players to shoot an under-par round.

"I think today was more of a mental battle," said Gates. The course was playing tough, especially in the morning with the wind. The pins were very difficult. You really had to think your way around today and thankfully I hit some good shots."

The final 18 holes will be played Tuesday with tee times beginning at 8:00 a.m. and 8:50 a.m. on holes 1 and 10. The awards ceremony will be held immediately following the conclusion of the third round.

Big 12 Men's Golf Championship - Day 1 Notes

--This is the eighth time the Big 12 Championship has been played at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., and first time since the 2004 event. Prairie Dunes hosted the first six Big 12 Championships from 1997-2002 and the 2004 event.
--Oklahoma State leads by five strokes heading into the final round. The Cowboys have had a two-round lead in four Big 12 Championships and eventually won three of those titles - 1997, 2000, 2005. OSU tied eventual champion Texas for the two-round lead in 2004 and ended up third.
--OSU's five stroke lead (579-584) over Texas A&M marks the eighth time in the 11-year history of the Big 12 that the leader has been up by only seven strokes or less heading into the final round.
--Texas Tech's Oscar Floren is vying to become the first Red Raider to win his conference individual title since Bryan Novoa tied SMU's Hank Kuehne for the final Southwest Conference individual title in 1996. Floren tied for ninth at the 2004 Big 12 Championship at Prairie Dunes.
--Texas A&M led after the first round for the third time in Big 12 history. The Aggies also led the 1998 event with a 306 and finished fifth and led after the first round in 2000 with a 284 and also placed fifth. A&M's 284 at Prairie Dunes in 2000 is its all-time low round.
--A&M's first round 285 was two strokes shy of the Big 12 first round record of 283 set by Oklahoma in 2002, also at Prairie Dunes.
--Texas A&M Big 12 Championship rounds under 300 (including two today) - 14 overall, nine at Prairie Dunes.
--Oklahoma State's 290 and 289 were its 10th and 11th consecutive score below 300 at the Big 12 Championships and its eighth and ninth straight at Prairie Dunes (2004, 2002, 2001).
--Oklahoma State Big 12 Championship rounds under 300 (including two today) - 28 overall, 21 at Prairie Dunes.
--Texas' 293 and 298 were its fifth and sixth straight sub-300 round score in the Big 12 Championship and marked the ninth and 10th straight time the Longhorns have shot below 300 at the conference championship played at Prairie Dunes (2004, 2002, 2001). Texas won the 2002 and 2004 Big 12 Championships played here.
--Texas Big 12 Championship rounds under 300 (including two today) - 25 overall, 19 at Prairie Dunes.
--Weather was partly cloudy and 65 degrees with ENE winds 9 mph to start. The winds picked up throughout the morning. At the time the teams teed off for the second round it was partly cloudy 75 degrees and winds were ESE 14 mph gusting to 21 mph. The clouds rolled in around 3 p.m. Scattered showers forecasted for tonight and tomorrow
^Big 12 Men's Championship Scores<
^At Prairie Dunes CC=
^Hutchinson, Kan.=
^Rounds 1 & 2=
^Team Leaders=

Oklahoma St. 290-289_579
Texas A&M 285-299_584
Texas 293-298_591
Texas Tech 303-292_595
Oklahoma 303-301_604
Missouri 304-300_604
Kansas St. 304-301_605
Baylor 302-303_605
Kansas 302-311_613
Nebraska 313-303_616
Colorado 313-304_617
Iowa State 311-311_622

^Individual Leaders=

Oscar Floren, Texas Tech 72-69_141
Robert Gates, Texas A&M 69-73_142
Brady Schnell, Nebraska 72-71_143
Pablo Martin, Oklahoma St. 70-73_143
Tyler Leon, Oklahoma St. 72-72_144
Ryan Posey, Oklahoma St. 73-73_146
Jonathan Moore, Oklahoma St. 75-71_146
Jace Moore, Texas 71-76_147
Martin Piller, Texas A&M 72-75_147
Jesse Schutte, Oklahoma 75-72_147
Gary Woodland, Kansas 72-75_147

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