By Ada Zhang
Members of the Baylor club golf team, a relatively new organization on campus, does not let their novelty hinder them from winning.
This past weekend, the team tied for second place at the end of a two-day national golf championship hosted by the National Collegiate Club Golf Association in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Eight golfers represented Baylor at this tournament.
St. Louis sophomore Matt Brugner, president of the club golf team, said the team played well on Saturday, earning fourth place out of 24 teams.
“We were the only team from Texas,” Brugner said.
On Sunday, the team improved its rank and tied with Campbell University for second place.
“The total score was 768, and Michigan beat us by nine shots,” Brugner said. “They were 759.”
Prior to the national championship, the club golf team competed in two regional tournaments, one in Fort Worth and another in Bryan. The team won first place in both tournaments.
Brugner said Texas Christian University and Texas A&M University were among the teams they beat. Dr. Wesley Null, vice provost for undergraduate education and the team’s faculty adviser, said the team has worked hard to achieve success.
“They’ve gone from being a small club to being a strong, vibrant group that is obviously playing some very great golf and making some very great friends at the same time,” Null said.
Brugner said he started the team last fall as a freshman because he wanted to continue playing golf competitively. The team only started competing this past spring semester, Brugner said.
The team hosts tryouts at the beginning of each semester. Men and women are welcome to try out.
“The selection process is based on golf skill,” Brugner said.
The team this semester is made up of 12 players, Brugner said, but only eight are permitted to attend each tournament according to national collegiate club golf association rules. The team practices twice a week at the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course.
Null said the players have a lot of previous golf experience, a factor that has partially contributed to the team’s eminence in tournaments.
At the onset, Brugner did not predict that the team would do so well.
“Last semester we placed third in both of our Texas tournaments,” Brugner said. “I knew the team would get better, but I didn’t know we’d get this good.”
Brugner attributes the team’s success to superb leadership and strong relational bonds between players.
“We just have a great team of leaders who are committed to improving the organization,” Brugner said. “It’s a tight-knit group. A lot of the guys have become friends. We support each other. We’re always hanging out.”
Even when there is no official practice scheduled, the players get together on their own and play golf, he said.
“They really like one another and play well as a team,” Null said.
Null said the players are wonderful representatives of Baylor.
“Anyone at Baylor would be proud to watch them at a tournament,” Null said. “They handle themselves very well.”
Brugner said the team’s recent achievements are testaments to each player’s dedication. The team has high goals for next semester.
“We’re really excited to move forward, and we’re hoping to win a national title in the next coming semester,” Brugner said. “We’re excited for what the future has for Baylor Club Golf.”