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Texas A&M Men's Golf opens season at Arizona Intercollegiate

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Posted at 10:11 PM, Jan 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-27 23:11:59-05

COLLEGE STATION – The No. 18 Texas A&M men’s golf team is set to begin its spring season this week, traveling to Arizona to make their fourth appearance in the Arizona Intercollegiate, played at the Sewailo Golf Club. Play will begin Monday, Jan. 28 and continue Tuesday, Jan. 29. Arizona, Arizona State and BYU highlight the top competition of the 15 participants the Aggies will face.

“I’m excited about Arizona,” said head coach J.T. Higgins. “The weather here the last three months has been so wet and soggy, so we’ve missed a lot of practice days. We were further along at this time last year, but the guys know competition is coming up, they’re getting antsy and are ready to go.

“Getting to some warm weather and some green grass with be nice. The field at Arizona is good, it’s not as strong as some of the other tournament we’ll play in. There is plenty of great competition at the top, so we’ll get to test ourselves against Arizona State, BYU and Arizona and we should be able to contend there.”

The Aggies earned a program-best six team wins last season, playing in their 15th NCAA Tournament in the last 16 years and 44th overall. After winning the NCAA Bryan Regional in record-setting fashion, A&M made its 31st NCAA Championship appearance, first since 2014.

 During the fall season, the Aggies won the Shoal Creek Invitational, also finishing second at the Maridoe Intercollegiate. Sophomore Walker Lee earned his second collegiate win as he shot 4-over to win the tournament by a stroke and help the Aggies to a top-two finish.

Senior Chandler Phillips is coming off a strong junior campaign that saw him earn All-America First Team honors. He became just the fourth player in Aggie history to earn first-team honors. The three-time All-SEC honoree won four events individually, setting a new program record in career tournament wins (6) as a junior. He broke A&M's record for single-season stroke average (70.85), a mark he initially set as a sophomore.

Junior Brandon Smith had a breakout season last year. He played in 12 events, compiling a 71.84 scoring average with 20 rounds of par or lower during 37 total rounds. He notched six top-10 finishes and came just a stroke away from winning the NCAA Bryan Regional where he finished as runner-up with a 54-hole total of 10-under par. He earned All-America Honorable Mention accolades for his impressive play.

Lee, freshman Sam Bennet and sophomore Reese Ramsey will join Phillips and Smith in action at the Arizona Intercollegiate. The event will be 54-hole stroke play with 36 holes being played Monday and 18 played Tuesday. Each team will have five participants with the four lowest scores counted each round toward the team total.

Three Aggies will also be in action at the Arizona Medalist Tournament, taking place at the Randolph Golf Course. Juniors Dan Erickson and John Gliege, along with freshman Peyton Callens will participate in the individual 54-hole stroke play tournament, also playing 36 holes Monday and 18 Tuesday.

Keep up with the Aggies play in their season opener here [results.golfstat.com].