Men’s golf advances to NCAA Championship

Baylor freshman Travis McInroe looks at his tee shot at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate tournament in Dallas on Oct. 24. Courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor

Baylor men’s golf punched its ticket to the NCAA Championships Wednesday afternoon.

The Bears shot a one under par final round of 287 to finish with a seven under par 857 for the three-day tournament.

Baylor head coach Mike McGraw said he was pleased that his team played well enough to not really have to sweat out their qualifying status.

“This week sort of feels like PGA Tour school. It really only has two results, two outcomes, and we got the good one,” McGraw said. “We played well, and it wasn’t even close as far as qualifying.”

Texas A&M, host of the Bryan Regional took the top slot, finishing at 27 under par and a final score of 837. The Aggies won the tournament by nine strokes over Clemson, who shot an 846 overall and finished 18 under for the tournament.

UCLA finished in fourth place and will advance. The Bruins shot a two over par 290 final round to finish with a final score of 866. Kentucky was the fifth team to advance, finishing with a 10 over par 874 for the tournament.

Individually, the Bears placed two under par for the tournament. Sophomore Cooper Dossey was in the top spot for Baylor, finishing seventh overall at seven under par and finishing with a 209. Dossey shot a 68 in round one, a 70 in round two before finishing with his 71 on Wednesday.

Senior Matthew Perrine finished in a tie for 14th place. Perrine finished one shot under par for the tournament, shooting a 71 Monday, 73 Tuesday and a 71 Wednesday to finish with a score of 215.

Juniors, Garrett May and Braden Bailey each finished one over par for the tournament. May shot a 70, 74 and 73 to finish with a 217. Bailey shot a 73 and a pair of 72s.

Freshman Ryan Grider finished 40th at seven with a seven over par 223.

Texas A&M’s Chandler Phillips finished first on the leaderboard with an 11 under par 205. Phillips edged Clemson’s Doc Redman and teammate Brandon Smith, who both shot 10 under par for the tournament. Ole Miss’ Braden Thornberry took fourth at nine under par and Clemson’s Bryson Nimmer and McNeese State’s Blake Elliott finished tied for fifth at eight under par.

Despite advancing and playing well overall, McGraw said he believes his team can still be better.

“I don’t think we played our best golf, but I’m okay with that. We held our composure pretty well this week, shot even yesterday and 1-under today, which was nothing special, but not anything bad,” McGraw said. “It was good to see them play well on a week when there are a lot of good teams here.”

Baylor now heads to the 2018 NCAA Championship, which runs May 25-30 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.