WACO, Texas – Baylor men’s golf head coach Mike McGraw announced the program’s 2017-18 schedule on Wednesday. The slate of 10 regular season tournaments takes the Bears across the country, including stops in Minnesota, Illinois, Arizona, Alabama, Florida and Oklahoma, as well as a trip to Los Cabos, Mexico.
Baylor opens the season at the Gopher Invitational for the fourth time in the last five years. The two-day tournament is played Sept. 10-11 at Windsong Farm Golf Club in Independence, Minn. Baylor’s best finish at the Gopher Invite came when it brought home the 2014 title in its first tournament under McGraw.
BU then heads to the Fighting Illini Invitational at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club for the fifth straight season. The Bears’ best finish at the event was also in 2014, when they placed third in the second tournament of the McGraw era. This year’s Fighting Illini Invite runs Sept. 15-17.
For the third consecutive season, Baylor’s third tournament on the schedule is the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate on Oct. 9-10 at Old Overton Club in Vestavia Hills, Ala. BU took third place in a 12-team field at last year’s event.
Baylor then wraps up the fall portion of its schedule by hosting the 10th-annual Royal Oaks Intercollegiate at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas. Baylor has hosted the tournament every year since 2008, with the exception of the 2015 Royal Oaks, which was canceled due to flooding.
This year is the fifth edition of the Arizona Intercollegiate, and Baylor is making its first appearance in the field.
Baylor then heads to the All-American, which runs Feb. 16-18 at Golf Club of Houston in Humble, Texas. The Bears will look to defend their 2017 tournament title, when they topped an 18-team field by five strokes and then-freshman Cooper Dossey won medalist honors by three strokes over the 96-player field.
Baylor returns to the Querencia Cabo Collegiate, which runs March 4-6 at Querencia Country Club in Los Cabos, Mexico. The Bears will appear in the tournament for a fifth straight season, and their best finish came last year when they took second place in a 15-team field. BU has placed third or better at Querencia in three of the past four years.
BU then heads to Palm City, Fla., to play in the Valspar Collegiate, which runs March 18-20 at Floridian National Golf Club. The Bears will make their first appearance in the tournament and will play in Florida for the first time since the 2014 Tavistock Collegiate Invitational in Orlando.
The Bears remain in Texas and Oklahoma for the following three tournaments, and potentially for each of the last five events of the 2017-18 season. Two of the six potential NCAA Regional sites are in Texas and Oklahoma, and the NCAA Championship is at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla.
BU will play both tournaments for a third straight season, posting second place finishes at the 2017 Aggie Invite and 2016 The Maxwell.
The 2018 Big 12 Championship runs April 23-25 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla. Southern Hills will host the event for the fourth time in the tournament’s 22-year history (2003, 2006, 2015, 2017), and Baylor’s best previous finish at Southern Hills was seventh place in both 2006 and 2015.
Six sites have been selected for 2018 NCAA Regionals, which runs March 14-16. The Bears could be sent to Bryan, Texas (Traditions GC), Norman, Okla. (Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club), Columbus, Ohio (Scarlet Course/OSU GC), Kissimmee, Fla. (Reunion Resort), Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole GC) or Stockton, Calif. (The Reserve at Spanos Park).
The 2018 NCAA Championship runs May 25-30 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. BU last played the course at the 2009 NCAA South Central Regional, where it took seventh place in a 13-team field. The final round of stroke play and all three rounds of match play will be televised on Golf Channel.
McGraw’s team is looking to earn a spot in the NCAA Championship for a school-record third consecutive season. The Bears advanced to match play for the first time in program history at the 2017 NCAA Championship, finishing tied for fifth place after falling in a quarterfinal playoff against eventual national champion Oklahoma.
2017-18 BAYLOR MEN’S GOLF SCHEDULE
Sept. 10-11 – Gopher Invitational – Independence, Minn. – Windsong Farm GC
Sept. 15-17 – Fighting Illini Invitational – Olympia Fields, Ill. – Olympia Fields CC
Oct. 9-10 – Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate – Vestavia Hills, Ala. – Old Overton Club
Oct. 23-24 – Royal Oaks Intercollegiate – Dallas, Texas – Royal Oaks CC
Jan. 29-30 – Arizona Intercollegiate – Tucson, Ariz. – Sewailo GC
Feb. 16-18 – All-American – Humble, Texas – Golf Club of Houston
March 4-6 – Querencia Cabo Collegiate – Los Cabos, Mexico – Querencia CC
March 18-20 – Valspar Collegiate – Palm City, Fla. – Floridian National GC
April 7-8 – Aggie Invitational – Bryan, Texas – Traditions GC
April 14-15 – The Maxwell – Ardmore, Okla. – Dornick Hills GC
April 23-25 – Big 12 Championship – Tulsa, Okla. – Southern Hills CC
May 14-16 – NCAA Regionals – Site TBD
May 25-30 – NCAA Championship – Stillwater, Okla. – Karsten Creek GC
© 2017 KCEN-TV