March 6, 2010
LAREDO, Texas - Baylor men's golf sophomore Joakim Mikkelsen captured individual medalist honors for the first time in his career, winning the Border Olympics by two strokes Saturday at Laredo Country Club.
Mikkelsen finished at 3-under (70-68-75=213), two shots ahead of Auburn's Kyle Kopsick (68-75-72=215). It is the fourth time this season Mikkelsen has finished a tournament under par - 1-under 215 at William H. Tucker, 5-under 211 (Wolverine), 3-under 210 at Baylor Intercollegiate and Border Olympics.
"I played with a lot of confidence," Mikkelsen said. "I approached (the Border Olympics) the same way I approach every tournament. I had a bit of a bad start in Friday's first round, but I was able bounce back."
Mikkelsen, who finished in the top 10 for the third time this season, is the first Baylor golfer to earn individual medalist honors since Colton Williams won the Border Olympics in 2008. The Drammen, Norway, native is the fourth Baylor Bear to win the Border Olympics since 1988.
Baylor, which entered Saturday's final round in fourth place overall, finished the Border Olympics in eighth place at 27-over. Texas State took home the team title at 12-over, four shots ahead of second-place Oklahoma (16-over). Lamar (17-over), UT Arlington (18-over) and Auburn (19-over) round out the rest of the top five.
"I'm disappointed in our finish," Baylor head men's golf coach Greg Priest said. "We had a bad start in the first round Friday, but I was proud of the way the guys fought back with such an excellent second round."
Payne Gniewek netted his fifth top-25 finish of the season, carding a 16th-place showing at 5-over 221. Freshman Ryan O'Rear, competing as an individual, finished a career-best 28th at 8-over 224. Lorenzo Scotto finished tied for 47th at 12-over (79-68-81=228), followed by Jerry Ruiz at 16-over (77-76-79=232), Cody Paladino at 22-over (81-73-84=238) and Michael McKinley at 28-over (80-83-81=244).
"Today, we didn't play well," Priest said. "We made mistakes, but we have a quick turnaround and we need to learn from those mistakes."
The Baylor men's golf team will have a quick turnaround as the Bears travel to Tallahassee, Fla., for the Seminole Intercollegiate March 12-14.
THE BORDER OLYMPICS
TOP FIVE TEAM RESULTS
BAYLOR INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
|t28.||Ryan O'Rear (I)||75-76-73=224||+8|
|t86.||Michael McKinley (I)||80-83-81=244||+28|