BRYAN, Texas – For a school-record third consecutive season, the Baylor men’s golf team is headed to the NCAA Championship. The Bears earned one of five bids awarded at the NCAA Bryan Regional by claiming third place in a 13-team field with a 54-hole total of 7-under-par 857.
The Bears shot 1-under 287 in Wednesday’s final round. BU (-7) placed behind only No. 2-ranked tournament host Texas A&M (-27) and No. 14 Clemson (-18). No. 29 UCLA (+2) and No. 23 Kentucky (+10) also earned NCAA Championship berths, as the top-five seeds at the Regional all advanced.
Wednesday was the final round of the season for teams outside the top five, which included No. 34 Ole Miss (+13), No. 38 South Carolina (+18), Mississippi State (+21), UNC Wilmington (+22), Northern Colorado (+30), No. 50 Georgia (+33), Bradley (+37) and No. 47 San Francisco (+40).
Baylor was led by sophomore Cooper Dossey and senior Matthew Perrine, who posted matching rounds of 1-under 71. Dossey finished in seventh place in the 75-player field at 7-under-par 209, and he has now shot par or better in nine of 10 career NCAA Tournament rounds. Perrine was second on the team and finished tied for 14th place at 1-under 215.
Junior Braden Bailey posted a final round of even-par 72, and just like in Tuesday’s second round, he birdied the 16th and 18th holes to get back to even-par. Junior Garrett May carded the Bears’ final counting score on Wednesday with a 1-over 73. Bailey and May finished tied for 19th place at 1-over 217. Freshman Ryan Grider shot a final round of 2-over 74 and finished tied for 40th place at 7-over 223.
- Baylor’s third-place finish was the second-best NCAA Regional result in program history, trailing only the tie for first place at the 2017 NCAA Stanford Regional.
- Baylor earned the eighth NCAA Championship berth in program history (1960, 1966, 1967, 2002, 2010, 2016, 2017, 2018).
- Cooper Dossey’s 209 tied the fourth-best 54-hole NCAA Regional score in program history and tied the best on a par-72 course. Baylor’s only better Regional scores were at the 2017 Stanford Regional, recorded by Dossey (201), Matthew Perrine (207) and Hunter Shattuck (207).
- Baylor’s 54-hole total of 857 was the second-best total in 23 all-time NCAA Regional appearances. The only better mark was 823 on a par-70 course at the 2017 Stanford Regional.
- Baylor’s final round of 287 tied the 17th-best NCAA Tournament round in program history.
- BU posted three of the 20 best NCAA Tournament rounds in school history at the Bryan Regional – the 282 first round tied for eighth, the 287 final round tied for 17th and the 288 second round tied for 20th.
- Baylor finished tied for second in par-4 scoring at 9-over 4.06, third in par-5 scoring at 15-under 4.75 and tied for third in par-3 scoring at 7-over 3.12.
- Baylor’s 54 birdies were third-most in the field, and the Bears’ 168 pars tied for fifth most.
- Garrett May tied for fifth in the 75-player field in par-3 scoring at 1-under 2.92.
- Dossey and Perrine tied for fifth in par-5 scoring at 6-under 4.50.
- Dossey tied for seventh in par-4 scoring at 1-under 3.97, while May tied for 12th at even-par 4.00.
- Dossey tied for 10th in par-3 scoring at even-par 3.00, and his 13 birdies tied for eighth most.
- May tied for 16th with 11 birdies, while Braden Bailey, Ryan Grider and Perrine tied for 19th with 10 birdies apiece.
- Perrine led the team and tied for 13th with 36 pars across 54 holes.
- Head coach Mike McGraw has now led teams to NCAA Championships in 19 of 21 years in Division I coaching.
- McGraw has led teams to NCAA Championships in 10 of his 12 seasons as a DI men’s golf head coach.
STAT OF THE DAY
9 – sophomore Cooper Dossey has now played nine of 10 career NCAA Tournament rounds at par or better. He has a 70.20 stroke average across 10 NCAA Tournament rounds, which is 1.43 strokes better than his 71.63 stroke average in 52 career rounds during regular season tournaments. He currently holds the Baylor school record with a 71.40 career stroke average across all collegiate rounds.
“This week sort of feels like PGA Tour school. It really only has two results, two outcomes, and we got the good one,” head coach Mike McGraw said. “We played well, and it wasn’t even close as far as qualifying. I don’t think we played our best golf, but I’m okay with that. We held our composure pretty well this week, shot even yesterday and 1-under today, which was nothing special, but not anything bad. There was no choking going on, which I was very happy with, and it was good to see them play well on a week when there are a lot of good teams here.”
Baylor heads to the 2018 NCAA Championship, which runs May 25-30 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. The Bears will be making their eighth all-time NCAA Championship appearance, including a school-record three consecutive seasons. Live scoring is available at www.golfstat.com. Follow @BaylorMGolf on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates throughout the season.