Cowboys Lead Big 12 Golf Tourney

TRINITY, Texas (www.okstate.com) - Oklahoma State's men's golf team ended the first round of play at the Big 12 Championship on Friday with a five-shot lead after coming in as the only team under par at Whispering Pines Golf Course.

The top-ranked Cowboys fired a 3-under 285 team score, while Oklahoma posted a 290 total and third-place Missouri finished at 295.

On a relatively calm day, the final four holes at the par-72, 7,330-yard layout proved to be difficult for the field as Nos. 16, 15 and 18 served as the three toughest scoring holes. After making the turn at 6-under, OSU played those holes eight strokes above par as a team.

"This is a great course," Cowboy sophomore Tyler Leon said. "It is a nice layout with a good stretch of finishing holes, so the round is not over until it is over."

Leon put together a first-round 68 that included four birdies and no bogeys to end the day tied for second place. The Dallas, Texas native reeled off three consecutive birdies on the front nine to go out in 33 before making eight pars and a birdie at No. 17 on his inward nine.

"Today was one of my better ball-striking days in a while," Leon said. "I hit 13 fairways and 17 greens and was able to give myself chances out there."

Leon will begin Saturday morning's second round one shot off the lead held by Baylor's Jeremy Alcorn and tied with the Sooners' Justin Fraley.

Senior Alex Noren birdied three of his first four holes and carded an even-par 36 on his back nine to finish at 2-under 70. The Stockholm, Sweden, native will begin play tomorrow tied for fifth place with Kansas State's Matt VanCleave.

Freshman Pablo Martin finished tied for 11th place with five other players after carding a 1-over 73 in his first career Big 12 outing. After a birdie to open his round, the Malaga, Spain, native spent much of the day at even par before a bogey at the 17th hole moved him above par.

Looking to extend his string of top-10 finishes to six, junior Zack Robinson opened with a 2-over 74 to stand in a two-way tie for 16th place. The Ft. Worth, Texas, native posted matching nine-hole scores of 37 for his total.

Sophomore Ryan Posey's round included six birdies, but the sophomore came in tied for 28th after posting a 77. After making the turn at 2-under, the Dallas, Texas, native ran into trouble down the stretch, completing the inward nine in 43 strokes.

OSU will begin its second round Saturday morning at 8:50 a.m. and will be paired with Oklahoma and Missouri.

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