April 24, 2014
WACO, Texas -
Baylor is headed to the Big 12 Men's Golf Championship, which begins Friday and runs through Sunday at the Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas. The three-day, 72-hole tournament is hosted by TCU at the par-72, 7,473-yard course.
Whispering Pines has hosted the championship four previous times, most recently in 2012. Teams will play 36 holes on Friday, followed by 18 on Saturday and the final 18 on Sunday.
The Bears are aiming for their first conference title in 13 years after posting top-five finishes in nine of 11 regular season events, including all six spring tournaments. Baylor's last Big 12 title came back in 2001 in Hutchison, Kan.
"It is a great golf course," head coach Greg Priest said. "It's the No. 1 golf course in the state. It sets up pretty well for us, and as long as we can avoid the trouble and keep it in play, I think we should be alright."
Baylor enters the tournament as the No. 4 seed based on the latest Golfweek/Sagarin team rankings, where the Bears rank 26th nationally. Six of the nine teams competing in the Big 12 Championship are ranked among the nation's top-50 teams, including No. 4 Oklahoma State, No. 15 Oklahoma, No. 18 Texas, No. 26 Baylor, No. 39 Texas Tech and No. 47 Iowa State.
Kyle Jones, who finished in the top-15 individuals in eight of the season's 11 tournaments, leads the Baylor lineup. He's joined by Niclas Mansson, who finished tied for seventh place in the Big 12 Championship last season. Jerry Ruiz, Filippo Zucchetti and Andreas Gjesteby round out the Baylor lineup.
"We are going to load back up on Jones again," Priest said. "He has done it for us all year long, and we just need him to have a good week. We also need to get the rest of the guys to pitch in. Everyone has had at least a chance to win a golf tournament individually, so I feel good about our chances."
The Bears are paired with No. 5 seed Texas Tech and No. 6 seeded Iowa State. Friday's first round tee times will begin at 8 a.m. CT. The Bears will begin on the 10th hole with Zucchetti up first at 8 a.m., followed in 10-minute intervals by Mansson, Gjesteby, Ruiz and Jones, respectively.
Friday's second round tee times are scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. The Bears will begin the second round on hole one in the same order with Zucchetti teeing off at 1:30 p.m. and Jones rounding out the tee times at 2:10 p.m. For live scoring information throughout the tournament, visit www.golfstat.com. Follow @BaylorMGolf on twitter for updates throughout the season.