By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
No. 36-ranked Baylor women’s golf took home second place in the Big 12 Championship this weekend at the Dallas Athletic Club. The Bears finished the tournament at 24-over par with a score of 888 after three days of play.
On Friday, Baylor posted the best score of any team in the tournament, scoring 288 to take an early lead. Back-to-back days of 12-over par performances on Saturday and Sunday locked the Bears in at a tie for second place with No. 17 Oklahoma State, eight strokes behind first place and No. 7-ranked Texas.
Baylor defeated, in order from fourth to ninth place, No. 28 Iowa State, No. 18 Oklahoma, Texas Tech, TCU, Kansas State and Kansas.
Baylor head coach Jay Goble said the goal is always first place, but the Bears are playing well and that’s what matters.
“Obviously, we’d love to win more golf tournaments,” Goble said. “But I like to play well at the end of the year. This is what we focus on, getting better every day, and we’re excited for the next couple of weeks.”
Three Baylor golfers were named to the All-Tournament team. Freshman Diane Baillieux, freshman Gurleen Kaur and junior Maria Vesga all earned tournament honors for finishing in the top-10 individually. Beillieux shot a combined four-over through three days to finish at sixth overall. Kaur shot five-over to finish at seventh overall. Vesga shot a tournament-best three-under on day one, but finished at eighth place after shooting five and four-over, respectively on Saturday and Sunday.
Goble said the second place finish is not surprising because of how talented the team is.
“I’m extremely proud of my team,” Goble said. “We’re playing well at the right time, and we’re getting better at the right time. This doesn’t come as a surprise to me, because I know how talented we are, and I know that the freshmen we have are amazing.”
The Bears have now finished in the top-three of the Big 12 Tournament for the fifth time in Goble’s seven seasons. Baylor placed three on the All-Tournament team for just the third time in school history, and the second-place finish is the highest of the season for the Bears.
The Bears will learn their postseason fate at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday when the NCAA Tournament field will be announced on the Golf Channel.
Goble said teams should be scared to face the Bears in the NCAA Tournament.
“I’m excited for the next couple weeks,” Goble said. “I know that wherever we go for regionals, we’re going to be a middle-to-high seed, and we’re going to scare some people. They’re not going to want to have Baylor in their regional site, and that’s what I love.”
Baylor has advanced to the NCAA Championship round of the NCAA Tournament two times out of the last three years. The regional round is scheduled to begin on May 7.