Ward among top 10 at Big 12 Championships

LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech sophomore Chris Ward, in his second Big 12 Conference Championships, is positioning himself for a second-straight top 10 finish and all-conference honor as Texas Tech approaches the final round of the league championships Wednesday. With 54 holes complete at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., Texas Tech enters the final round in seventh place.

Ward has been consistent throughout the first three rounds, carding scores of 73-73-74 for a +14 224. He is 15 strokes off of the lead and is tied in 10th place with Kansas' Zach Pederson. Ward placed fourth in his inaugural Big 12 Championships last season en route to helping Texas Tech post its best finish in Big 12 tournament history at third.

Nils Floren climbed a spot into a 16th-place tie with a 75 Tuesday, while Garrett Merrell made the most progress, moving up 15 places to a 20th-place tie after firing the sixth-best round of the day with a 1-over 71. Santiago Rivas and Will Griffin struggled on the day with an 80 and 81, respectively. Rivas is tied in 42nd place and Griffin sits alone in 58th.

Oklahoma State (868) holds a narrow three-stroke lead over Colorado (871), followed by Texas A&M (881) and Baylor (883). Kansas (894) and Kansas State (894) are tied in fifth place, while Tech (899), Missouri (907), Iowa State (909), Nebraska (912), Texas (914) and Oklahoma (917) round out the field.

The Red Raiders are 26 shots off of the lead, but trail the top five by only five strokes.