Second-round fall pours water on Men’s Golf’s hot start
By SCOTT WARD
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Northern Colorado Men's Golf saw its late-season momentum continue into the first round at the 2012 Wyoming Cowboy Classic at Talking Stick-North Golf Course.
The Bears shot a 5-under-par 275 out of the gate Monday and sat in a tie for fifth in a 20-team field that includes, among others, Colorado State, Colorado, Kansas State, Arizona, Texas Tech, Kansas and Arizona State.
They couldn't carry that strong play into the second round, however, and shot a 12-over 292 to fall into 16th heading into tomorrow's final round.
Freshman Steven Kupcho, who earlier in the day was honored as the latest America Sky Men's Golf Conference Golfer of the Week, led the Bears in Scottsdale with a 4-under 66 and a 2-over 72 Monday.
His two-round total of 138 has him tied with nine other golfers for 20th out 122 golfers.
Redshirt-junior Kevin Collignon followed a 67 (-3) in the first round with a 75 (+5) in the second and is tied for 51st.
"We didn't play well this afternoon but had a good round this morning," Northern Colorado coach Chuck Scheinost said. "We played really solid on a little bit of a shorter course this morning and were right there, but this afternoon we just couldn't get going. We couldn't get any birdies going like we've been doing."
Freshman Charlie Mroz finished 4-over par Monday, at 144 (70, 74), and is tied for 70th, while freshman Steve Connel (72, 73) and sophomore Ben Krueger (72, 73) both are 5-over, at 145, and tied for 77th.
The scores are there for the taking at Talking Stick-North, according to Scheinost, and a good day Tuesday could catapult the Bears right back up the board, as fast as they tumbled today.
Just eight strokes separates Northern Colorado from a tie for 7th, with Gonzaga and event-host Wyoming.
San Diego and Kansas State lead the Classic after they both shot 545 team scores (-15) Monday. Colorado State (547, -13), Colorado (552, -8), Arizona (555, -5) round out the top five.
The Rams' Michael Wuertz shot two 6-under 64s Monday and leads all players with 128 strokes across 36 holes. K-State's Ben Juffer and the Buff's Beau Schoolcraft are tied for second with 131 strokes (-9).
"I know we can play better than this," Scheinost said. "I'm a little disappointed today. Steven [Kupcho] played well this morning but, like the rest, struggled this afternoon. He really battled hard to grind it in and keep a good score, though, and I'm proud of him for that.
"We just need to be better across the board tomorrow. The good news is we're only eight shots out of seventh in a pretty tightly bunched leaderboard. But we're going to have to put together a good round tomorrow to do it. Hopefully the guys are up for that task."