By Collin Bryant | Sports Writer
Baylor men’s golf finished fourth at the Fighting Illini Invitational this past weekend, shooting a 9-over-par 289 in Sunday’s final round at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Ill. The Bears carded a 12-over par 852 after three rounds to finish in front of six top-20 ranked teams.
The Bears finished behind No. 16 Texas A&M, who won the event, No. 19 Alabama, and No.1 Oklahoma State. By finishing fourth, Baylor defeated No. 5 Illinois, No. 20 Florida State, No. 12 UNLV, No. 6 Texas, No. 14 Stanford and No. 8 USC.
Baylor head coach Mike McGraw said he was disappointed in the finish, but that a track like Olympia Fields can make the players better going forward.
“We are all disappointed that we didn’t play better today,” McGraw said. “But, as I always tell the players, if you are paying attention at a championship course like Olympia Fields, you can’t help but become a better player. This golf course teaches you so much and does a great job of exposing your weaknesses. We learned a lot this week.”
Junior Braden Bailey shot an even par 70 in the final round, finishing sixth in the 78-player field at three under par 207. Bailey shot either par or better in each round of the tournament, recording par or better scores in five of six rounds this season. He earned his 12th top-10 finish at Baylor, moving him into a tie with senior Matthew Perrine for eighth on Baylor’s all-time top-10 list.
After the victory, Texas A&M head coach J.T. Higgins said in a press release that he was extremely pleased with his team’s effort and focus in the final round.
“What a great final round,” Texas A&M head coach J.T. Higgins said. “The guys came out focused, determined and just played fantastic golf. Every one of the guys was in it until the end. We had four scores of par or better, so it was an amazing team effort but also what a great final round performances from Brandon and Chandler.”
Sophomore Cooper Dossey and junior Garrett May tied for 20th at four over par, after shooting final rounds of 73 and 75 respectively. Dossey’s finish was his ninth career top-25 and has finished in the top-40 in every collegiate tournament he has teed up. May earned his 10th career top-25 finish.
Perrine tied for 48th place at an 11-over par 221 after shooting three over in his final round. Freshman Ryan Grider shot a three over par 73 in his final round to finish in 62nd place at 17-over par 227.
Baylor returns to action when it participates in the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate at Old Overton Club in Vestavia Hills, Ala. Oct. 9.