WACO, Texas – Baylor men’s golf begins its 2017-18 season at the Gopher Invitational, which runs Sunday and Monday at Windsong Farm Golf Club in Independence, Minn. The 54-hole tournament is played on a par-71, 7,368-yard course.
The No. 4-ranked Bears will compete in a 16-team field that includes No. 21 Arizona State, Arkansas, Charlotte, Iowa, No. 23 Kent State, Michigan State, Minnesota, New Mexico, No. 3 Oklahoma, Penn State, No. 23 Pepperdine, Purdue, San Diego State, St. John’s (Minn.) and Virginia Tech.
BU is returning to the Gopher Invitational for the fourth time in the last five seasons. The Bears took second place in 2013, won the title over a 15-team field in head coach Mike McGraw’s first tournament leading the Bears in 2014 and tied for third place in 2015. McGraw is entering his fourth season at Baylor coming off the best NCAA Championship finish and first No. 1 national ranking in program history. Assistant coach Ryan Blagg returns for his sixth season at BU after winning the 2017 Jan Strickland Award as the nation’s top assistant.
Baylor’s lineup for the season opener is led by a trio of 2017 All-Americans in junior Braden Bailey, senior Matthew Perrine and sophomore Cooper Dossey. Redshirt freshman Travis McInroe will make his BU debut in the No. 4 spot, and true freshman Ryan Grider will play his first collegiate tournament at No. 5.
Bailey is playing in the No. 1 spot for the 11th time in 13 tournaments since the start of the 2015-16 season. He has a 72.16 career stroke average over his first two seasons, which ranks fifth on Baylor’s all-time list, and he ranks 10th in program history in both top-5 (six) and top-10 (10) finishes.
Perrine is playing No. 2 for a fifth consecutive tournament. He posted a 71.35 stroke average last season, which ranks fourth on Baylor’s single-season list, and his 72.20 career stroke average is sixth all-time at Baylor. Perrine set a school record with nine consecutive top-10 finishes last season, and he ranks eighth in program history with 11 career top-10 finishes.
Dossey returns after becoming the first player in program history named to the five-player GCAA All-Freshmen Team, and he’s playing in the No. 3 spot for a fourth consecutive tournament. He recorded a 71.19 stroke average in his debut season, which was the third-best single-season mark in program history, and he became the fourth freshman to lead the Bears in stroke average, joining Jimmy Walker (1997-98), Ryan Baca (2002-03) and Bailey (2015-16).
Teams will play 36 holes on Sunday, beginning with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. CT. Monday’s final round is scheduled for tee times from the first and 10th holes.
The Bears are also sending four players to the Gopher Individual, a sister tournament running simultaneously at Pioneer Creek Golf Course in Maple Plain, Minn. The field includes players from 10 schools competing in the Gopher Invitational, as well as Bethel, and they’ll compete on the par-72, 6,953-yard course.
May played in the Baylor lineup in all 12 events last season and earned PING All-Central Region honors after recording a 72.08 stroke average. Kober and Cotton both played as individuals in the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate last season, and Kober was the Bears’ alternate at the NCAA Championship. Reppe is playing his first collegiate tournament after joining the Bears from Episcopal School of Dallas.
The Gopher Individual is slated to begin at 7:20 a.m. Sunday, with the second round at 12:30 p.m. Monday’s final round tees off at 7:20 a.m.
Live scoring for the Gopher Invitational and Gopher Individual are available at www.golfstat.com. Follow @BaylorMGolf on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates throughout the season.