No. 2 Texas A&M opened play at the NCAA DI Men’s Golf Championship on Friday with the Aggies’ initial round at Karsten Creek Golf Club halted due to darkness. Texas A&M shared 14th place on the 30-team leaderboard at the time play was suspended.
“We’ve got some work to do to catch up, but there is a lot of golf left to play," Texas A&M head coach J.T. Higgins said. "I really liked what I saw, how they battled and hung in there because it could have gotten away from us. We’re keeping it together and are right in the middle of everything. We’re going to go out, play a good round tomorrow and see where that puts us.”
The Aggies (+4) are in a crowded middle of the pack on the team leaderboard with just two members of their lineup, Walker Lee (74, +2) and Brandon Smith (74, +2), having completed their opening round. The pair finished the day at two-over par leaving them tied for 80th individually. The remainder of the A&M golfers, Dan Erickson (E), Andrew Paysse (E) and Chandler Phillips (+4), will finish their first round when play resumes at 7 a.m. Saturday.
Northwestern paced the tightly-bunched team standings with the suspension of play, having completed its round at eight-under par.
“It was a difficult day,” Higgins said of the multiple weather issues that plagued the event’s opening day. “We had delays right from the time we woke up, so we kept waiting around to find out when we were going to the course and when we were going to tee off. Right when we’re ready to head out they got pulled off the course again, so we ended up going about three and a half hours later than our scheduled time. It’s tough to sit around all day waiting.”
After the completion of the opening round Saturday morning, the teams will return to the course for the second round. Following another stage of stroke play on Sunday, the field will be culled to 15 teams who will take part in a final round of stroke play that will determine the eight schools advancing to the match play portion of the event.
Prior to the tournament getting underway, two members of Aggie golf were recognized for their standout seasons as Phillips was named one of the three finalists for the DI Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award and Higgins was selected as a finalist for the Dave Williams Award, which honors the national coach of the year in Division I men’s golf.