For the Baylor men’s golf team, it was a rally for the ages.
Down by two strokes on hole 18 with only one player remaining, freshman Cooper Dossey, the Bears saw Stanford’s Maverick McNealy three-putt for a triple bogey while Dossey calmly sank a six-foot par putt to advance Baylor to the NCAA Championships.
Dossey finished his round at 3-under-par 67, and his par on No. 18 pushed him in front of McNealy to take second place individually at 9-under-par 201.
The seventh trip to the NCAA Championship in school history was a dramatic one, and head coach Mike McGraw expected nothing less but a clutch putt from the freshman Dossey.
“He’s very consistent, but he eagled 16, had an amazing up-and-down on 17 from really just a dead position,” he said. “You couldn’t get it within 10 feet, and he ended up about five feet and then made the putt. And then 18, he hit his first putt from 40 feet about maybe seven feet past and then made it coming back.”
Baylor trailed by as many as five strokes with holes running out. Dossey kick started the comeback with the eagle on 16, a par 5.
Senior Hunter Shattuck and junior Matthew Perrine tied for seventh place at 3-under 207. Perrine carded a final round 1-over 71, while Shattuck scored 2-over 72. Braden Bailey tied for 27th place at 4-over 214 after shooting 4-over 74 in the final round, and Garrett May shot 1-over 71 on Wednesday to tie for 38th place at 6-over 216.
The No. 9-ranked Bears (-17) matched No. 4 Stanford (-17) on the Cardinal’s home course, and both teams easily qualified for the NCAA Championships. No. 27 Pepperdine (-5), No. 15 Oklahoma (-3) and No. 33 North Carolina (+3) also earned Championships berths by finishing among the top five teams.
The Bears qualified for the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship in back-to-back seasons for just the second time in school history.
The tournament runs May 26-31 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois.