STILLWATER, Okla. – Peter Uihlein dropped his club almost immediately after hitting his tee shot on the par-3 15th hole at Karsten Creek. He raised his hands skyward as his ball soared into a deep bunker left of the green, questioning why he’d sent his shot into the worst possible place.
Uihlein hit his short-sided sand shot within inches, an impressive recovery from a precarious position. His Oklahoma State teammates will have to mimic that performance Thursday if they want to make the NCAA Championship’s match-play bracket.
Oklahoma State hasn’t had an easy going through two rounds on its home course. The Cowboys, No. 1 in the country and winners of eight titles this season, shot 292-293 over the first 36 holes at Karsten Creek. They were in ninth place when they finished Wednesday’s play. The top eight teams after Thursday’s third round will advance to match play. It’s likely the Cowboys will end the second round somewhere near the cut line.
“We just let our home course push us around too much,” Oklahoma State head coach Mike McGraw said.
Oklahoma State won the stroke-play portion of the past two NCAA Championships, and a similar performance was expected this year. Big numbers hurt the Cowboys on Wednesday, though. They had two triple bogeys and two double bogeys in their four counting scores. That’s a combined 10 strokes over par on those four holes (Oklahoma State was 5 under par on its other 68 holes Wednesday).
Uihlein’s 69 on Wednesday was the only under-par round by an Oklahoma State player this week. In fact, no other Cowboy has shot better than 147 over the first two rounds. Uihlein was 5 under par through six holes Wednesday and made the turn in 31.
“We’ll be patient and try not to force anything,” Uihlein said about Thursday’s third round.