Football season is over in Waco, but another sport is just around the corner.
The Baylor men’s golf team is just a few weeks away from starting a highly anticipated season.
The Bears look to start the 2013 season the way they finished last season: on top.
Baylor participated in the Warrior Wave Intercollegiate in Hawaii last November and came out in first place, giving them their first win in over a year.
Baylor lost seniors Drew McGee, Joakim Mikkelsen, and Lorenzo Scotto but has added two talented freshmen to the club.
One of the newer faces on the team is Andreas Gjesteby, a freshman from Drammen, Norway.
Though he is one of only two freshmen on the roster, Gjesteby has had a remarkable career up to this point, winning numerous tournaments, including two 2011 Titleist Tournaments at Skjeberg GK and Kragero GK respectively, and the 2012 Norges Cup at Notteroy GK. Gjesteby, however, isn’t satisfied.
He is eager for the UTSA Oak Hills Invitational in San Antonio on Feb. 11 to arrive.
“I am really excited to start playing tournaments again. We have had a really long pause now,” Gjesteby said. “Who’s going to San Antonio isn’t final yet, but I’m going to do everything in my power to get a spot on the team.”
Gjesteby is well prepared for the season but he can already spot differences from golf in Norway.
“We tend to play more rounds of golf outside tournament than I did back home in Norway where I spent most of my time grinding short game, putting or technique,” Gjesteby said.
Gjesteby joins an already talented squad of golfers.
Among those golfers is senior Ryan O’Rear. O’Rear has appeared in three consecutive Big 12 Men’s Golf Championships, and he is motivated to make one last run during his last season as a collegiate golfer.
“It’s my last go around so I’m just going to give everything I’ve got and do whatever I can to help my team get back to nationals,” O’Rear said.
Being a senior, O’Rear now steps into a mentor-like role for incoming freshmen such as Andreas Gjesteby.
O’Rear has advice for the Bears’ newest additions for being successful on the green. “Just work hard,” O’Rear said. “Work on your game. You know they’re very talented, very good golfers, so they don’t need to change anything. Going back to what I’m saying, they’ve played hard golf courses and tough competitions. They’ll be fine. Just be themselves.”
As the season nears, both Gjesteby and O’Rear have certain goals they wish to accomplish.
For Gjesteby, he looks to carry over his dominance from Norway.
“My main goal would be to play all the tournaments this spring and hopefully place top 10 in at least one of them,” Gjesteby said. “Other than that I keep working on my game.”
As for O’Rear, his goal is for the team to achieve similar success as it did his freshman season.
“It’s mostly team related. You know I want to win a tournament individually but all my goals are just getting our team back where we were freshman year,” O’Rear said.
O’Rear’s freshman season was a success.
He finished 12th overall at the Big 12 Championship, a career best.
When asked about how he felt about the team’s outlook this season, O’Rear sounded confident.
“I think we’ll be fine. Our guys have played for their national teams,” O’Rear said. “I don’t think it’s going to be anything new for them. They’ve played in big events so I expect big things out of them.”
The team will tee off for the first time in 2013 on Feb. 11 at the University of Texas – San Antonio for the UTSA Oak Hills Invitational.