By Ryan Daugherty
The Baylor men’s golf team will compete in its fifth tournament of the season at the Insperity Augusta State Invitational in Augusta, Ga., at the Forest Hills Golf Club. The tournament will be hosted by Augusta State University and will be played all day on Saturday and Sunday.
Participating teams will play 36 holes on Saturday starting at 7:30 a.m. Teams will finish up the tournament on Sunday, playing 18 holes starting at 7:30 a.m. as well.
The Bears are coming off of a third place finish in March at the Desert Shootout in Goodyear, Ariz., where two Baylor golfers finished in the Top 10. Sophomore Niclas Mansson tied for third while sophomore Kyle Jones finished in sixth place.
Five Baylor golfers will be making the trip to Georgia this weekend. These golfers include Jones, Mansson, sophomore Mikkel Bjerch-Andresen, senior Ryan O’Rear and sophomore Filippo Zucchetti.
Baylor will join a field of 15 total teams. Live scoring will be available at golfstat.com. The 14 other schools participating are Augusta State University, Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University, University of Georgia, University of Houston, University of Illinois, Purdue University, University of South Carolina-Aiken, Southern Methodist University, University of South Carolina, University of Tennessee, University of Texas, University of Central Florida and Virginia Tech.
This will be O’Rear’s last season as a collegiate golfer and he said that he will remain focused and try to treat this tournament just like any other.
“[It’s] not any different from the other tournaments,” he said. “Yes, it’s my last year so I want to play well, but my approach is the same as the others.”
O’Rear said the focus is on the team and that his goal is to do what he can to earn a victory for the Bears.
“I just want to do whatever I can to help my team win,” he said. “I didn’t play well last tournament so I want to step up and help my team.”
The Bears competed in the Insperity Augusta State Invitational last year and finished tied for fourth after a strong final round by Jones. The Bears were in ninth place after the first two rounds but Jones shot a four-under 68 in the final round to elevate himself to ninth place individually.
Mansson said that as the team approaches the end of the season, they are in position to make a run.
“We know that we can beat the best teams in the country when we’re at our best,” he said. “We’re at the point where everything starts falling into place.”
Mansson said he is confident for this weekend and the team will benefit greatly if he continues his putting success.
“I started hitting the ball really good about two weeks ago and feel comfortable with the swing,” he said. “If I can get a good feel for the greens and putt as good as I have been lately, I know we’ll be looking at low numbers by the end of the week.”