Missouri falters on windy day at NCAA golf tournament

05/25/2014 11:39 PM

06/03/2014 10:17 AM

Missouri appeared to be out of contention at the NCAA Golf Championship when play was suspended midway through the third round on Sunday.

At 14 over par and 11 shots behind UCLA, which holds the important eighth and final spot in the match-play rounds, the Tigers have considerable ground to make up this morning after weather delays, high winds and cancellations converged on Prairie Dunes Country Club on Sunday. But they aren’t giving up hope.

“We’ve got to go out and post a pretty decent score, maybe something around par, and just see what happens,” Missouri coach Mark Leroux said. “This is Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, Kansas. If the wind starts blowing, especially in the afternoon, there is no telling what the scores could be.”

Most struggled in those conditions Sunday. More than 40 golfers began the day under par. That number now stands at 26.

With distractions, and wind, picking up, golfers faced a more difficult challenge than they did on Friday or Saturday. Nowhere was that more noticeable than with South Carolina’s Will Starke. He found trouble everywhere, shooting 78 a day after he took the lead with a 64. Stanford’s Cameron Wilson now has a 1-shot lead at 6 under, but five golfers are within 2.

Missouri started the day 3 over, and only Ryan Zech managed to break par in his second round, shooting a 69. Emilio Cuartero also played well, finishing at 1 under for the tournament, but everyone else went over par.

The top 15 teams after 36 holes didn’t play Sunday evening. They received the benefit of resting before returning for afternoon tee times on Monday, when Stanford will carry a 4-shot lead into the final round at 12 under.

Missouri wasn’t so lucky. Things could change quickly, though.

“I thought the guys played well at the end of the second round,” Leroux said. “They made some shots up and went from about 22nd back to 18th with a couple birdies coming in. We got off to an average start in the third round, and now we are in 20th. Hopefully we can come back tomorrow and get going.”

Reach Kellis Robinett at krobinett@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @kellisrobinett.

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