Oklahoma State's secret weapon
__TOLEDO--__When you're the second-ranked team in the country and none of your five golfers competing at the 112th NCAA Championship has a scoring average worse than 73.66, it wouldn't seem necessary to have a secret weapon for the Inverness Club. Yet Oklahoma State has just that as it tries for an 11th national title.
Enter veteran tour pro Bob Tway.
The former Cowboy All-American in the early 1980s has been in attendance this week, watching his son, Kevin, compete for Oklahoma State. Inverness is the site of his ultimately glory on the PGA Tour, where Tway holed out a final-round bunker shot for birdie on the 18th hole to dramatically beat Greg Norman at the 1986 PGA Championship.
During Monday's practice round, Tway walked with the Oklahoma State team, offering them advice on how to play the venerable Donald Ross course.
"He was great," said OSU freshman Peter Uihlein. "He talked about where you want to hit the ball and how you might think your way around the course. To have a valuable asset like him is definitely good."
"Inverness is definitely a special place for me," Bob, who finished T-53 in his debut on the Champions Tour last week at Canterbury GC outside of Cleveland, told the Toledo Blade. "Every time I go back I have great memories."
The "inside" information looked as if it paid off as the Cowboys shared the lead after the first round with a four-over 288.
OSU's connection to Inverness through Tway's amazing bunker shot was something the team had some fun with earlier this season. When the Cowboys were playing here last September at the NCAA Fall Preview, coach Mike McGraw noticed the hole location on the 18th during the practice round was not far from where it was that final round in 1986. Naturally, all the Cowboys tried to recreate the magic shot. When it was Kevin Tway's try, his shot actually lipped out of the hole.
There's no bad time to make your first hole-in-one, but Texas A&M's Conrad Shindler picked a pretty memorable one to record his first ace. The Aggie sophomore holed his tee shot on the par-3 third hole with a 5-iron from 186 yards during the first round of the NCAA Championship Tuesday.
"The pin was up front," he said, "so there's no margin for error with the water [to the right of the green]. I took it left edge figuring the wind would bring it in. But the wind never touched it. Fortunately, it kicked just right, kept rolling and went in."
Shindler shot a four-over 75 for the round.