Baylor men’s golf opens the 2016-17 season at the OFCC/Fighting Illini Invite, which runs Friday through Sunday at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club.
The three day, 54-hole event will be played on the par-70, 7,205-yard North course, which has played host to two U.S. Opens, three PGA Championships and five Western Opens.
The Bears enter the season ranked No. 24 nationally in the Golfweek Division I Coaches Poll following a 27th place finish in the 2016 NCAA Championship. Head coach Mike McGraw is back for his third season at Baylor and is joined by fifth-year assistant coach Ryan Blagg.
The 15-team field includes eight teams ranked among the top 25 nationally, including each of the nation’s top four teams. The 24th-ranked Bears are joined by No. 1 Texas, No. 2 Southern California, tournament-host No. 3 Illinois, No. 4 Oklahoma State, No. 16 Alabama, No. 18 Florida State, No. 19 Arizona State, Army, Indiana, North Carolina, Northwestern, Purdue, Texas A&M and UNLV.
Baylor’s lineup is led by sophomore Braden Bailey, who is playing in the No. 1 spot for the first time in his collegiate career. Bailey posted a team-best 72.61 stroke average last season, joining Ryan Baca and Jimmy Walker as the only freshmen in program history to lead the team in stroke average.
Sophomore Garrett May is in the No. 2 spot, followed by junior Matthew Perrine, senior Hunter Shattuck and freshman Cooper Dossey. May recorded a pair of top-10 finishes in seven events during his freshman season, while Perrine and Shattuck helped lead the Bears to the sixth NCAA Championship appearance in program history. Dossey joined the BU program as the top-ranked recruit in Texas in the 2016 signing class following a standout prep career at Austin’s Vandegrift High School.
Friday’s first round has been moved up an hour due to anticipated afternoon storms and now begins at 8 a.m. CT. BU will start from the 10th tee, with Dossey up first at 8 a.m. He’ll be followed in nine-minute intervals by Shattuck, Perrine, May and Bailey, respectively.