SUGAR GROVE, Ill. – The scores rose in Monday’s final round of the stroke play portion of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships. The wind picked up and the conditions proved tougher, leading to just four players in the field shooting under par.
But Baylor survived.
The Bears stayed right where they started the day – in a tie for seventh place. By being one of the top eight teams, they advanced on to the match play portion of the tournament, which begins Tuesday at Rich Harvest Farms. Baylor will open up against its Big 12 rival Oklahoma, teeing off at 1:10 p.m.
The other match play pairings are stroke play leader Vanderbilt against UNLV, Oklahoma State versus Oregon and Illinois versus USC. The Big 12 owns the most teams in the match play round with three.
It’s the first time Baylor has advanced on to the match play format. Last year the Bears reached the NCAA Championships, but didn’t make the cut to the fourth round of stroke play, finishing 27th.
Baylor shot a 16-over 304 on Monday, the Bears’ worst score of the four rounds. But they were hardly alone, as no teams shot under par for the first time in the event. Garrett May battled his way to a 1-over 73, while Braden Bailey added a respectable 75.
May’s round included a sweet chip shot for eagle on the par-4 No. 6 hole.
The Bears’ other scorers were Hunter Shattuck with a 77, Cooper Dossey at 79 and Matthew Perrine – who carded a 67 in Saturday’s second round – at 80.
Braden Thornberry of Ole Miss won the individual title, shooting minus-11 277, with rounds of 66, 71, 69 and 71. Perrine was Baylor’s top finisher in a tie for 28th at 72-67-71-80-290.