Sept. 7, 2007
WACO, Texas -
The Baylor men's golf team opens its fall season on Monday as the Bears travel to participate in the St. Mary's Invitational at Poppy Hills Golf Club in Pebble Beach, Calif.
The Bears finished the 2007 spring schedule earning their tenth straight bid to the NCAA Regionals, the longest active postseason streak in Baylor athletics. Baylor placed 18th in the NCAA Central Regional at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
The 54-hole medal play St. Mary's Invitational will be played over two days with an overall team and an individual champion awarded. Teams will play 36 holes on Monday and the final 18 holes will be played on Tuesday. Play will begin at 8:00 am (PST) on Monday with a shotgun start. Tuesday's rounds will begin with tee times starting on both the 1st and 10th holes.
The tournament will have a field of 95 players from 18 schools. There are eight conferences represented which include teams from the West Coast Conference (Saint Mary's, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Loyola Marymount), the Big 12 Conference (Baylor, Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska), the Big 10 Conference (Wisconsin), the Western Athletic Conference (Nevada and San Jose State), the Big West Conference (Long Beach St.), and Conference-USA (Houston, Memphis, and UAB), the Mid-American Conference (Eastern Michigan and Miami (OH)), and the Southland Conference (Texas-Arlington).
Baylor will be led by senior Wes Williams (Franklin, Tenn.). Last season, Williams led the Bears with a 73.64 stroke average and posted four top-10 finishes. Bill Allcorn (Abilene, Texas) and Colton Williams (Jacksboro, Texas) will also be expected to lead the Bears. Allcorn was Baylor's top finisher at the Big 12 Championships in 2007 as he finished at 12-over par to place 11th overall. Williams had the second-lowest stroke average in 2007 (74.22) and played well over the summer, winning the 2007 West Texas Amateur.
(Austin, Texas) and Cody Paladino
(Kennington, Conn.) will complete Baylor's five-man team in the first tournament. Last year Gerlich played three tournaments and recorded two top-11 finishes. A highly-touted freshman, Paladino finished second in the 2007 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, earning a berth in the 2007 U.S. Amateur Championships.
Also competing this weekend as an individual is Weldon Martin (Houston, Texas). Last season, Martin competed in two events, finishing tied for 22nd in the Rattler Invitational and taking 56th overall at the SFA Bill Hill-Crown Classic.
Since 1991, Poppy Hills Golf Course has been one of the three courses played in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The 1991 NCAA Men's Golf Championships was hosted at Poppy Hills GC, as well as the 1998 WAC Women's Golf Championship and the 1999 WAC Men's Championships. Poppy Hills is also the home for the Northern California Golf Association (NCGA).