By Daniel Wallace
Both the men’s and women’s golf teams are in the middle of their seasons, each in different situations but both working toward a postseason appearance.
Men remain optimistic
In a tournament where Baylor played against 13 of the top 50 golf teams in the nation, the Bears finished 14th of 15. The team finished at 48-over-par (305-301-306=912) at the Southern Highlands tournament in Las Vegas, No. 2 Oklahoma State took the title shooting 1-under-par 863.
The three-day contest ended Sunday and left the Bears with mixed feelings.
“It was definitely disappointing,” head coach Greg Priest said. “It was a lot stronger field [than the previous tournament] and we definitely wanted to play better.”
Baylor could not seem to ride the momentum they had coming off a tournament win in Charleston, S.C., the previous week.
Although sophomore Ryan O’Rear said the Southern Highlands tournament “just didn’t play very well,” the team is refusing to be pessimistic.
Despite the outcome of the tournament, O’Rear said the team actually did some things better than in Charleston.
“I felt like we really fought hard when we needed to here. In Charleston, we were never really in a position to fight but here we were. And we got it together the last nine holes,” O’Rear said.
The last nine holes saw the Bears jump out of the last place spot when the team finally found its rhythm. Priest said he was proud of his team for the way it competed and never gave up in the back nine.
Priest added the team is still where he would like for them to be at this point in the season.
“We control our own destination … “If we control what we’re doing, we’ll be fine,” he said.
The team will look for more of that control on Sunday in Ball Ground, Ga., where it will begin with a one-day match play tournament against Illinois.
Women on NCAA regional bid bubble after UNLV tournament
Consistency and improvement have defined the Baylor women’s golf team this season.
The team is playing well enough to keep its NCAA regionals bid alive, after finishing seventh out of 15 at the UNLV Spring Invitational in Boulder City, Nev. on March 9.
In its final round, Baylor shot 3-over-291, bettering the score of the previous day by 16 strokes.
The team finished at 35-over-par (301-307-291=899). No. 25 Pepperdine finished 20-under-par 844 to take the cake.
In the final round, junior Chelsey Cothran shot a career-low 3-under-69, highlighted by an eagle. She tied with freshman Kaylin Terry at 8-over-par 224.
Coach Sylvia Ferdon was satisfied in the effort of her team.
“They kept that feeling of confidence up,” Ferdon said. “The last day was great. They were believing in themselves, and it was fun to watch them play that well.”
The recent play of the team has Ferdon saying Baylor has put itself on the bubble for the NCAA regionals.
Part of that recent success has been the play of Terry. The coaching staff has decided to enter her in the remainder of Baylor’s tournaments, as she has proven herself worthy of consistently competing in tournaments.
Cothran said she has been impressed with Terry’s play as well.
“She is doing really well; she is getting to know the team and how things roll. She has calmed down a lot and is playing like she did in high school,” Cothran said.
The Lady Bears will host Kent State on Tuesday at the Ridgewood Golf Course in Waco, the only tournament they play in Waco this season.