Baylor golf strive to improve game

By Daniel Wallace

A top-five finish to start the spring season is what the Baylor men’s golf team comes back to Waco with, from the UTSA Oak Hills Invitational in San Antonio.

Ranked No. 50 in the nation, the Bears tied with Louisiana-Lafayette for fifth place at 25-over 877.

Despite playing in tougher conditions on Tuesday, the team jumped up four spots on the leader board after Monday’s ninth-place finish.

“Tuesday’s round set up harder with the pin placement and the course played the entire length,” coach Greg Priest said.

However, the team was able to find a way to improve after finishing Monday at 15-over 583. Priest added that he feels his team is solid, and once they shake off the rust, they will be fine.

Junior Joakim Mikkelsen represented Baylor in the top-25 individually tying for 21st place at 4-over 217.

“Joakim’s someone we really lean on,” Priest said. “For us to play well, he has to step up and play well and continue to be our leader.”

Junior Lorenzo Scotto finished tied for 30th place shooting 7-over 220. Texas Tech ran away with the tournament finishing 15-under 837. Oklahoma, North Texas, and Tulsa rounded out the top five, along with the Bears.

The next tournament for Baylor will be the Charleston Shootout on Feb. 28-Mar. 1 in Charleston, S.C.

Although they came up a little short on their goals for the tournament, the women’s golf team can boast two players in the top-25 after competing in the UCF Challenge in Sorrento, Fla. Junior Chelsey Cothran finished tied for 11th place at 1-over 217 while fellow junior Jaclyn Jansen ended tied for 22nd at 5-over 221. Coach Sylvia Ferdon was pleased with her two star golfers in the first tournament of the spring season.

“Jaclyn and Chelsey both had good tournaments,” Ferdon said. “To me, their play was really solid.”

The team came into the spring season with the goal of placing three golfers in the top 20 of every tournament. Having two in the top 25 is certainly a step in the right direction.

As a whole, the team finished in 11th place of 17 posting a 39-over 903 score. That is an average of 301 per round and Ferdon stated that you certainly can’t be competitive shooting over 300. Coastal Carolina took the title shooting 3-over 867.

Ferdon is optimistic her team can learn from their experience they had this week opening the season.

“I’m hoping that now having this tournament under our belt will help us prepare for next week’s Central District Invitational,” Ferdon said. “We need to work on our mindset and learn how to finish off a round.”

The Lady Bears will travel back to the Sunshine State next week for the Central District Invitational in Parrish, Fla.