By Max Calderone | Sports Writer
The Baylor men’s golf team finished third at the Arizona Intercollegiate tournament this week in Tucson, Ariz. to begin the spring season.
The No. 5 ranked Bears finished at a combined 14-over par after three rounds of play. They tallied five rounds of par or better out of the 12 that counted toward the final score.
Junior Braden Bailey led all golfers with a 3-under par score across three rounds, taking first place in the field of 92. He posted back-to-back rounds of 2-under 69 to claim the title.
Baylor head coach Mike McGraw said it was great to see Bailey’s hard work pay off in getting the win.
“Braden has played well and contended a lot this year,” McGraw said. “It’s great to see him break through for the win.”
In addition to Bailey, junior Garrett May finished tied for seventh at 3-over. Freshman Ryan Grider (+7), senior Matthew Perrine (+10) and redshirt freshman Travis McInroe (+13) rounded out the Bears lineup.
In team events, five golfers compete in each round, but only the top four scores of those five count per team. All Bears had at least two rounds that counted, except McInroe whose second round score of 72 was his lone qualifier.
Baylor sat in first place after the first day of play, but was unable to hold off the hometown Arizona Wildcats as they combined for an astonishing final round score at 15-under par. Their final three-round score was 10-over, two strokes ahead of second-place finisher No. 4 Texas A&M (+12). As a team, Baylor (+14) was under-par in both the second and third rounds to finish in third place.
Additionally, three Bears competed as individuals at the Arizona Medalist tournament, a sister competition of the Arizona Intercollegiate. Sophomore Colin Kober took home the crown after posting a score of 4-under par in three rounds. He finished three strokes ahead of the second place finisher.
Baylor is coming off of a strong fall season in which it placed inside the top-four at each of the four tournaments they competed in, including a first place win at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate.
Four players are ranked inside the top-80 of GolfStat’s individual rankings. Bailey holds the highest position at No. 9. No. 26 May, No. 47 Cooper Dossey, who did not compete, and No. 76 Perrine are the rest of the ranked Bears.
Next up for Baylor is the All-American tournament, played at the Golf Club of Houston beginning on Feb. 16.