By Jerry Hill
Baylor Bear Foundation
"That's a mouthful to throw at a 19-year-old kid, but that's how Seve played. He would see shots that nobody else sees," McGraw said. "(Cooper) sees shots that no one else sees. And he has the unique ability to pull them off."
And that's what it took for Dossey to survive Tuesday's gusty conditions and even some bad breaks to shoot 2-under-par 69 in the final round, taking home medalist honors at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate with a 54-hole total of 11-under 202.
"I try to show some good reason and sensibility, but I also don't want to curtail creativity and talent," the Baylor coach said. "I'd be a bad coach if I didn't allow him to be creative. That would be terrible. Cooper makes ugly golf look kind of good. Now, he didn't play ugly this week. He played beautiful this week. But sometimes, when it's not looking good, he just does things."
The seventh-ranked Baylor men's golf team did lots of good things over the last two days in shooting 25-under 827 over the three rounds and dominating the 13-team field, winning by 19 shots. Using a different format last year, the Bears shot 31-under and won by 32 strokes on this same Royal Oaks Country Club layout.
"I think this year and last year proves that our team likes this golf course," said Dossey, who claimed his second medalist honor and fourth career top-five finish. "We wanted the wind, we wanted it to be as tough as it can be, because our team plays well in the wind. . . . We fought together today, we played as a team. And as much as I'm happy that I won individually, I'm more excited about our team winning."
In taking the 36-hole lead on Monday, Dossey had 11 birdies and just two bogeys in rounds of 66 and 67 that left him three shots clear of the field. With the windy conditions, particularly on the back nine, Tuesday's round was more of a roller-coaster adventure with seven birdies and five bogeys.
"It just made it challenging, but honestly it was kind of fun," McGraw said. "I had no idea where we stood. I figured from what I was seeing - and we were hanging in there pretty near par - I knew we weren't going backwards. We were 13 ahead (going into Tuesday), so I felt like by the way we were playing that we had to be leading. I guess that's kind of the fun part of competing. Today, the conditions were the great competitor for everybody in the tournament."
Comfortably ahead at the turn, Dossey had a pair of bogeys sandwiched around a birdie on the difficult par-4 11th, and then had a three-putt bogey on the par-3 16th when a wind gust appeared to push his birdie putt eight feet by the hole.
With his lead whittled to just two shots - New Mexico's Andre Garcia shot 3-under 68 in the final round - Dossey bounced back when he rolled in a 15-footer for birdie on No. 17.
"I was going to hit driver off the tee, and Coach was like, `Let's hit an iron off the tee, just get back in play, stay calm.' I had a good tee shot and had about 113 (yards) in. I tried to hit to the right of the hole, get a par and get out of there, and just happened to sneak it in there. I struggled on the greens this whole semester, and to finally have a good tournament and have everything click is really awesome."
On the par-5 18th, Dossey hit his tee shot into trees on the right of the fairway, seemingly buried. But, the sophomore from Austin hooked his approach shot around a tree and over the water hazard, just in front of the green.
From there, he got up and down for his 18th birdie of the 54-hole tournament and finished with a four-shot cushion over Garcia.
"This week was really good for me, confidence-wise, but I need to get back and take a break," Dossey said. "Going into the spring, I kind of needed this, because I've been really tired and not really wanting to go out there and practice. This really helps me just to get on the golf course again and get my confidence back and keep doing the stuff I did this week."
Arkansas, ranked 17th, shot 3-over 287 and was the tournament runner-up at 6-under (846). Minnesota was third at 4-under (848), followed by 14th-ranked Kent State (3-under, 849), Michigan (4-over, 856) and No. 50 Pepperdine (5-over, 857).
Braden Bailey, who shared medalist honors with teammate Matthew Perrine last year, shot even-par 71 on Tuesday and tied for third at 6-under 207. Perrine (72) and Garrett May (69) tied for sixth at 4-under 209 to round out Baylor's scoring players. Redshirt freshman Travis McInroe, one of four Baylor players competing as individuals, had the day's low round at 4-under 67 and moved up 20 spots to finish fifth at 5-under 208. Sophomore Colin Kober was within two shots of the lead before a pair of bogeys on his second nine and a double-bogey on the last hole.
"It showed that we do have some depth," McGraw said. "It's a great problem to have. You don't really want a situation where you don't have depth, because there's nobody pushing. Obviously, there's two or three guys at home that believe they belong on this team. And I think it's great."
After completing the fall with their fourth consecutive top-four finish, the Bears will take an extended break before the Arizona Intercollegiate on Jan. 29-30 in Tucson.
DALLAS -- Baylor men's golf cruised to the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate title by shooting 3-under-par 281 in Tuesday's final round, which gave the Bears a 19-stroke victory with a 54-hole total of 25-under 827. BU posted the lowest round of the 13-team field in all three rounds at Royal Oaks.
With the win, Baylor has now won 10 tournament titles under fourth-year head coach Mike McGraw, who claimed his 40th career tournament title as a Division I men's golf head coach. The 19-stroke margin of victory was the second-largest of his Baylor tenure, trailing only the 32-stroke win at the 2016 Royal Oaks Intercollegiate.
Sophomore Cooper Dossey claimed medalist honors for the second time in his career and earned his fourth top-three finish. Dossey shot 2-under-par 69 in the final round to finish at 11-under-par 202, four strokes ahead of the 73-player field. Dossey's 202 tied the fifth-best 54-hole total in program history and was one back of his career-best 201 at the 2017 NCAA Stanford Regional.
Six Baylor players earned top-10 finishes. Junior Braden Bailey shot even-par 71 in the final round to finish tied for third place at 6-under-par 207. Bailey earned top-10 finishes in all four fall tournaments and now sits tied for seventh on Baylor's all-time list with 14 career top-10s. Bailey earned his seventh career top-5, which is also tied for seventh in program history.
Junior Garrett May and senior Matthew Perrine rounded of the counting scores from Baylor's lineup and finished tied for sixth place at 4-under 209. May shot 2-under 69 on Tuesday, while Perrine carded 1-over 72. Perrine earned his third top-6 finish of the fall season and joined Bailey in a tie for seventh on Baylor's all-time list with 14 career top-10s. May's finish was his seventh career top-10.
A pair of Baylor golfers playing as individuals also finished in the top 10. Redshirt freshman Travis McInroe shot 4-under 67 in the final round to finish in fifth place at 5-under-par 205. Sophomore Colin Kober shot 1-over 72 in the final round to tie for ninth place at 3-under 210.
Two more BU players competed as individuals, with freshman Mark Reppe and redshirt sophomore Austin Cotton finishing tied for 49th place at 8-over 221 following final rounds of 6-over 77 and 2-over 73, respectively. Freshman Ryan Grider tied for 58th place at 11-over 224 after a final round of 6-over 77.
Baylor earned wins over No. 17 Arkansas (-6), Minnesota (-4), No. 14 Kent State (-3), Michigan (+4), No. 50 Pepperdine (+5), Iowa (+6), UTSA (+7), New Mexico (+7), Liberty (+10), Charlotte (+18), SMU (+21) and Houston (+24).
Baylor earned its first tournament title of the season and finished the fall portion of the schedule with top-four finishes in all four tournaments -- first place, second place, third place and fourth place.
Dossey's individual title was the 36th by a Mike McGraw-coached men's college golfer, the sixth in his time at Baylor and the first since Dossey won The All-American in February 2017.
Baylor led the 13-team field in par-5 scoring at 21-under 4.53 and in par-4 scoring at 2-under 3.99.
Baylor also led the tournament with 53 birdies and finished second with 176 pars.
Cooper Dossey led the 73-player field in par-4 scoring at 8-under 3.76 and tied for the tournament lead in par-5 scoring at 6-under 4.33.
Matthew Perrine tied for the tournament lead in par-5 scoring at 6-under 4.33 and tied for 10th in par-4 scoring at 1-under 3.97.
Colin Kober tied for second in par-3 scoring at 2-under 2.83, while Braden Bailey and Mark Reppe tied for fifth at 1-under 2.92.
Bailey finished fifth in par-4 scoring at 3-under 3.91.
Garrett May, Kober and Travis McInroe tied for seventh in par-5 scoring at 4-under 4.56.
McInroe tied for third in par-4 scoring at 4-under 3.88.
Dossey led the tournament with 18 birdies across 54 holes, while McInroe tied for fourth with 14 birdies.
May finished third with 41 birdies over 54 holes.
STAT OF THE DAY
18 -- Cooper Dossey led the 73-player field with 18 birdies over three rounds, averaging one birdie every three holes for the tournament. He posted 29 pars and seven bogeys to go with the 18 birdies.
Baylor has wrapped up its fall season and next competes Jan. 29-30 at the Arizona Intercollegiate at Sewailo Golf Club. Follow @BaylorMGolf on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates throughout the season.