Baylor men’s golf hopes to swing momentum into Big 12 Championship

Baylor men's golf is coming off a 10th-place finish at the Thunderbird Collegiate, and the Bears moved up four spots in the final round to match Oklahoma State as the biggest mover of the final day. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Tyler White | Sports Writer

Baylor men’s golf has its eyes set on the upcoming Big 12 Championship, which is set to begin on Monday. Despite a slow start to the spring season, the Bears have been gaining momentum over the last couple of tournaments.

Baylor is coming off a win at the Aggie Invitational and a strong final round outing at the ASU-Thunderbird Collegiate. Head coach Mike McGraw said it’s a great time of the year to be trending upward, and he knows the team can feel it.

“We hadn’t played particularly well early in the spring,” McGraw said. “So that was a big win. To beat Texas A&M in their own backyard was not an easy task, and we played very, very well. It’s nice that we’re on an upward swing.”

Graduate student Luke Dossey said it’s important for the squad to gain momentum at the right time. Dossey said these last two meets have been an opportunity for them to gain confidence and strength going into the conference championship.

“Aggie was a big, big turning point for us,” Dossey said. “It was nice, because we played really good team golf. Everyone contributed a lot. A lot of us were in contention individually.

“Then, in Arizona, I remember coach just kind of told us before the last round, ‘Let’s go build some momentum before conference,’ and that’s exactly what we did.”

Dossey said the Bears proved it last year when they began to trend up at the right time of the year. He said they were able to gain momentum for the NCAA Regionals and make a good run to nationals, and he said they can do the same this year if they continue to build on their success.

“I mean, anybody can beat anybody on any given day,” Dossey said. “But if we’re working on the right things every day and taking care of small things and playing really good team golf — I think that’s what we’ve done the last two events, and I think that’s all you really need to do in these next two.”

McGraw said the confidence of the team has been “hard earned.” Though they started off slow and some meets didn’t go as expected, he said they have been pushing hard through the end of the year against tough competition.

“We have the strongest conference in the country on some of the best golf courses you’ll ever see,” McGraw said. “So it’s an amazing, amazing opportunity for these guys. So when I play it up, it’s not hyperbole. It’s real. It’s a great, great opportunity.”

After achieving his 50th career win at the Aggie Invitational, McGraw said the team is getting used to how they play with each other and feeling more confident entering the conference championship with their lineup.

“The synergy is probably better than it’s ever been all year long, because you don’t have a revolving door in the last four and five spots,” McGraw said. “You have basically the guys you know we’re going to be playing the rest of the year. So I can already see the energy at Texas A&M and the energy of Arizona State changing within the team.”

The Big 12 Championship will run Monday through Wednesday at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity.