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OKLAHOMA STATE PLAYING CATCH-UP TO ARKANSAS AT NCAA GOLF TOURNEY

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Going into the NCAA Men's Division I Golf Championships, Oklahoma State was on a roll, having won eight of 15 tournaments.

Now the Cowboys find themselves playing catch-up.Surprising Arkansas used 3-under-par 69s by Tag Ridings and Steven Bright in compiling a first-day score of 9-under 279 and a seven-shot lead over the top-seeded Cowboys.

Arkansas, seeded 17th, took advantage of favorable morning conditions to build an edge over Oklahoma State, whose best four scorers combined for 2-under 286.

Oklahoma State had a chance to narrow the gap today when it faced an early-morning start and Arkansas the more breezy conditions of afternoon.

"There's still a lot of golf left," Cowboys coach Mike Holder, seeking his seventh national title, said.

Auburn and East Tennessee State, both with morning tee times, shot 287. Defending champion Florida is at 288, two better than North Carolina and UNLV.

Arkansas played so well as a team that its throwaway score was an even-par 72 by Craig Young.