By Ryan Daugherty
The Baylor men’s golf team participated in the Big 12 Men’s Golf Championship in Hutchinson, Kan., at the Prairie Dunes Country Club this week.
The Bears finished sixth overall, shooting 55-over-par with a total score of 895.
The Bears joined a field of eight other Big 12 schools that included every school in the conference except West Virginia.
Five Baylor golfers made the trip to Kansas: sophomores Niclas Mansson, Filippo Zucchetti, Kyle Jones, Mikkel Bjerch-Andresen and senior Ryan O’ Rear.
The Bears finished Monday in fourth place overall shooting a 17-over-par 297 in the first round.
However, the second round was suspended because of darkness as the Bears were 10-over-par with only four holes remaining in the round.
After the first round and two holes remaining in the second round, Mansson led the Bears shooting, 2-over-par and was tied for fourth place individually. Mansson finished the tournament tied for seventh place individually shooting a 7-over-par 217.
Mansson said he was proud of how he played on Monday and he was prepared for the weather conditions.
“It’s all about hitting as many greens as possible,” he said. “Even though I don’t think it’s more fun playing in tough conditions compared to the rest of the field, I grew up with it and I’m usually able to make a decent score out of it. Overall I think I’ve done a good job of staying patient.”
The second round on Tuesday was canceled as well due to severe weather conditions that included snow and freezing temperatures. The tournament was originally 72 holes, but it was shortened to 54 holes due to the inclement weather delays.
Baylor was one of six teams that had to finish its second-round holes at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. The final round started later that day at 1 p.m.
O’Rear was the lone senior making the trip to Kansas this week.
He finished 19-over-par 229. He said he took on a leadership role for the other golfers who made the trip.
“I try and be the best leader I can,” he said. “I have the most experience, so I try and help the guys with the course and be there for them however I can.”
As for the season, regionals are still to be played, but there is a positive feel among the team.
O’Rear said he is proud of the year the team has had and looks to add to that going into regionals.
“We’ve had a pretty consistent year,” he said. “We finished in the top five a bunch and got a win last semester. We’re just looking to build on all of that heading into regionals.”
Zucchetti, who finished with a 20-over-par 230, said the team can come home with a positive attitude even though the Bears didn’t finish the way they wanted to.
“We are a pretty young team so we are looking at this as a growing up process,” he said. “You do not perform at your best level all days of the year, but if we keep working on minimizing our mistakes we can become a really good team and achieve some great goals.”
Jones finished 15-over-par 225 and Bjerch-Andresen finished 21-over-par 231.
The Bears will take action next at regionals on May 16.