TRINITY, Texas – Sophomore Andrea Pavan fired a bogey-free, five-under-par 67 on Saturday to lead No. 16-ranked Texas A&M at the Big 12 Men’s Golf Championship at Whispering Pines Golf Club.
Pavan’s teammates did not fare as well as the Aggies dropped to fourth place with a score of 299-284-294=877. No. 5 Oklahoma State posted its third straight sub-par round for an 850 total and takes a 16-shot lead over Texas Tech (866) in Sunday’s final round. Texas is in third at 868.
A&M has a 15-shot lead over fifth-place Baylor (892). Kansas is in sixth (896), followed by Oklahoma (900), Iowa State (903), Kansas State (905), Nebraska (908), Colorado (910) and Missouri (921).
The Aggies came out blazing and were seven-under par in the early going, but big numbers took their toll. A&M posted seven double-bogeys and three triple bogeys to off-set a whopping 19 birdies.
“We came out ready to play and got off to a hot start,” A&M Coach J.T. Higgins said. “After that, we just had too many big numbers and when you play in big tournaments against good teams that will hurt you. The guys gave it their best but gave away too many shots.”
Pavan’s score was the best of the tournament through three rounds. He had five birdies, including three on the final five holes. Pavan has played the last 43 holes in seven-under.
“Andrea played great today,” Higgins said. “He came out in the right frame of mind and anytime he hit a shot off line, he stayed patient and put himself in position to save par. He hung around and then finished strong to post a great round.”
Pavan (76-71-67=214) is in sixth place in the individual standings, four shots behind Oklahoma State’s Kevin Tway, who leads leads at 72-68-70=210. OSU’s Rickie Fowler (72-68-71=211) and Texas Tech’s (Garrett Merrell (76-67-68=211) are tied for second.
A&M senior Bobby Gates (74-73-74=221) and junior Matt Van Zandt (74-70-77=221) are tied for 17th, freshman Nacho Elvira (75-76-76=227) is tied for 32nd and junior Bronson Burgoon (77-70-83+230) is tied for 40th.
Gates was four-under through five holes before suffering a triple bogey on the par-4 6th and later double-bogeyed the 14th. Elvira was seven-over through 11, but salvaged his round with three birdies on his next four holes. Van Zandt was even-par after a birdie on the 14th, but double-bogeyed the 15th and closed with a triple bogey on the par-4 18th.