LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Bears flirted with the lead, and that was fun. In the end, making the cut was the most important thing.
Survive and advance, right?
The Baylor men’s golf team qualified for the NCAA Championships for the fourth consecutive year by finishing third at the Louisville Regional on Wednesday. Baylor posted the best round of the day with a 7-under 277, and finished at 7-under 845 for the tournament, which was 17 strokes ahead of the top-five-team cut to move on to nationals.
“I don’t take getting to the national championship for granted,” Baylor coach Mike McGraw said. “I’ve been a bunch, but it’s always exciting to know that you’re going to be there and you’re tied for first in the national championship right now. There is nobody ahead of us at nationals right now. To know that and feel that and believe that, you know you’ve got just as good a chance as anyone. So, you don’t take it for granted.”
Baylor came into the day tied for third, but ascended all the way to a tie with No. 1-ranked Oklahoma State atop the leaderboard about two-thirds of the way through the final round. The Cowboys ended up surging on the back nine, finishing with 11 birdies on the final six holes to take the regional title at 14-under. Auburn (-10) was second, while tournament host Louisville (+7) and North Florida (+8) also claimed NCAA Championships berths.
Senior Garrett May stroked six birdies on his way to a final-round 66. That helped May climb 15 spots into a tie for sixth at 4-under 209. Colin Kober shot a 2-under 69 for his best round at the regional, Ryan Grider tallied only one bogey on the day en route to a 1-under 70, and Cooper Dossey posted BU’s final counting score at 1-over 72.
The NCAA Men’s Golf Championships are slated for May 24-29 at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark. Thirty teams will comprise the field, including five from the Big 12 – Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and TCU in addition to the Bears.