HUTCHINSON, KAN. -- The No. 12 ranked Texas A&M men's golf team is among the favorites at the 2007 Big 12 Men's Golf Championship on Monday and Tuesday at Prairie Dunes Country Club.
The Aggies are the league's second-highest ranked team behind No. 6 Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are the defending NCAA champions.
The tournament will consist of 36 holes on Monday and 18 on Tuesday on the par-70, 6,598-yard layout, which is rated among the top 25 courses in the world by Golf Magazine. The course was the site of the 2002 U.S. Women's Open and the 2006 U.S. Senior Open.
Prairie Dunes has been the site of seven previous Big 12 Championships
(1997-02, 2004) and also was the annual site of the former Big Eight
"Prairie Dunes is such a demanding golf course and the conditions are
usually tough, but both those factors should play into our favor," A&M Coach J.T. Higgins said. "We seem to play better on harder courses and we have a little experience playing in the wind."
Representing A&M will be juniors Bobby Gates, Martin Piller and Trey Todd, sophomore Bronson Burgoon and freshman Austin Schauer.
Oklahoma won last year's title at Tulsa's Southern Hills Country Club
with an 18-over-par 858. Texas was second at 982, followed by A&M at 866. Gates finished fourth individually, while Burgoon was 11th and Piller placed 14th.
A&M has finished in the top five in eight of its 11 tournaments this season, including a tie for second at the prestigious Morris Williams
Intercollegiate in March.
Burgoon has had an outstanding season, placing in the top 20 in eight of
nine starts, including four top 10s. He leads the team with a 71.85 scoring average, which is challenging the school record of 71.9 set by All-American Philip Parkin in 1983-84.
Schauer has come on strong this spring and captured the individual title at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate. Unfortunately for the Aggies, he was playing as an individual and his score did not count toward the team total.
"We have been playing so well lately and we had another great week of practice," Higgins said. "It's hard not be excited about this tournament. Everyone looks good and we are all looking forward to competing for the Big 12 title."
Live scoring is available online at www.golfstat.com.