By Kamri Alexander | Reporter
Baylor men’s golf competed in the Fighting Illini Invitational at Olympia Fields Country Club over the weekend. It was the Bears’ first time back at Olympia Fields since 2019 where they tied for the team title with a 6-over-par 846. The team slowly fought to climb the leaderboard, but ultimately finished No. 12 against a field that had 10 teams ranked in the preseason top 25.
The team opened the tournament with juniors Johnny Keefer and Luke Dossey leading in scoring. Keefer ended opening day with 2-over-par 72, highlighted by an even-par 35 in his last nine holes.
Dossey, second in scoring for the Bears, started strong with a birdie on the first hole. Dossey was able to keep his momentum by maintaining a 1-under through 12 holes, but would end the opening round with a 3-over-par 73.
Baylor’s highlight of the day was par-5 scoring. Baylor played a tenth of a stroke over par, landing them fifth-best team score on par-5s.
The Bears finished the first round at No. 14, only seven shots from top 10.
The second day of the tournament proved to be more successful for the Bears, as they were one of only three teams to score 3-under-par on Saturday. Baylor shared the 2-under-par 278 score with first place, North Carolina, for the low round of the day.
Baylor had three players score under par for the day, competing with North Carolina as the only other team to accomplish that so far in the week.
Of those under-pars was day one’s leader, Keefer, starting bogey-free in his first 10 holes. Keefer shot his first bogey in the par-4 second but made up for it with a birdie on his final hole of the day. The strong day of competing for Keefer was enough for a spot in the top 10 and sixth place.
Senior Mark Reppe was also among the under-par players for Baylor. Four birdies in his final seven holes were partly responsible for his successful scoring day. The under-70 scoring day was the second of the season for Reppe.
The third and final under-par scorer was freshman Drew Wrightson. Three birdies in his first seven holes helped Wrightson land his first career under-par round.
Baylor accomplished enough on the course on Saturday to climb into the top 10 going into the final round.
After a solid performance in the second round, Baylor needed a similar outing to stay in the top 10.
The Bears had a new scoring leader in the final round in Dossey, who had a career-best day with a 1-over-par 71. He finished tied for No. 28 individually.
Sophomore Trey Bosco, after the Maridoe Collegiate Invitational, has began a streak of having his best scores during the final round of a tournament. Bosco finished the round scoring even-par on his bottom 16 holes to tie for No. 75.
Reppe was consistent the entire tournament scoring a 3-over-par 73 on the last day. His consistency tied him individually for No. 35 with 8-over-par 218.
Baylor finished the weekend in 12th place. Despite leaving room for improvement in tournaments, Head Coach Mike McGraw was excited to have the team out at Olympia Fields.
“Olympia Fields is such a special place,” McGraw said. “Regardless of the score, there is so much to learn. It does an incredible job of exposing your weaknesses. Suffice it to say, we know we have some improvement to do in a lot of areas.”
Next for Baylor men’s golf is the Colonial Collegiate Invitational. The two-day tournament will begin Monday, Oct. 4 at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth.