Aggies Tied For 14th At Stormy NCAA Men's Golf Championship

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WEST LAFAYETTE, IN -- Texas A&M was tied for 14th place when third-round play was halted because of tornado warnings on Friday at the NCAA Men's Golf Championship.

Half of the 30-team field did not finish and will complete the round early Saturday at the Kampen Course at Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex. The field will be trimmed to the top 15 teams for the final round, which will tee off later in the morning.

The Aggies completed their round earlier in the day and stand at 45-over-par for the tournament. A&M played the final four holes in two-under to climb back above the cut line, but trails leader UCLA (+24, F) by 21 strokes.

"The way we played the last four holes is probably the difference between making the cut and going home," A&M Coach J.T. Higgins said. "Everyone played their hearts out. We haven't had our best round yet, so tomorrow should be a fun day. We're going to go out and give our best effort and try to get one of the highest finishes A&M has had in a while."

The Aggies have not finished in the top 10 since 1984.

When play was postponed, only three of the top 15 teams were still on the course with anywhere from three to nine holes remaining. Southerrn California (+27, F) trails UCLA by three strokes, followed by Clemson (+27, F), Stanford (+29, F), Oklahoma State (+31, F), Florida (+35, F), Kent State (+36, F), Georgia (+37, F), Washington (+38, F), Alabama (+39, F), Louisville (+39, DNF), San Diego State (+40, DNF), Charlotte (+43, F), A&M (+45, F) and Auburn (+45, DNF).

Several teams in the bottom half of the standings could still make a run at the cut line. Other scores are Texas (+48, DNF), UC Irvine (+49, DNF), Middle Tennessee State (+49, F), UAB (+50, DNF), Wake Forest (+51, DNF), Arizona State (+52, F), Illinois (+52, F), Indiana (+54, DNF), East Tennessee State (+56, DNF), Penn State (+57, DNF), Oregon (+63, DNF), Mississippi State (+64, DNF), Virginia (+65, DNF), Augusta State (+73, DNF) and St. Mary's (Calif.) (+78, DNF).

Freshman Nacho Elvira (el-VEE-ruh) paced A&M's late charge, playing the final four holes in three-under, including an eagle on the par-5 6th (his 15th hole of the day). Elvira finished with a three-over 75 and is tied for 24th with a 224 total.

UCLA's Kevin Chappell leads by four shots with a six-under score of 69-73-68=210. Only five of the 156 players in the field are at even par or better for the tournament.

"The wind was howling and it was a really difficult day," Higgins said. "The course was set up extremely difficult. It was as close to U.S. Open conditions as most of the college kids are ever going to see. I was proud of how hard we fought and never gave up."

Other A&M scores were senior Bobby Gates with a 76 (tied for 71st at 230), sophomore Andrea Pavan (ann-DRAY-uh puh-VAHN) with a 77 (tied for 27th at 225), junior Bronson Burgoon with a 78 (tied for 76th at 231) and junior Matt Van Zandt with an 84 (tied for 140th at 242).

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