SUGAR GROVE, IL -- No. 12-ranked Texas A&M will compete in the NCAA Men's Golf Central Regional Thursday through Saturday at Rich Harvest Farms. The Aggies are the No. 4 seed in the 27-team field.
The top 10 teams and two individuals from each of the three regionals will advance to the NCAA Championships May 30-June 2 in Williamsburg, Va.
The Aggies are making their fifth straight postseason appearance under Coach J.T. Higgins and are looking to advance to their fourth straight NCAA finals. A&M has finished in the top four in the last three regionals, including consecutive third-place finishes in 2005 and 2006.
A&M is coming off a runner-up finish at Big 12 championship last month. The Aggies have posted eight top-five efforts in 12 tournaments this season.
"A lot of teams, coaches and players dread this tournament but I think our team has developed a mindset of looking forward to the regional championships, especially when we go up north to play," Higgins said. "The courses are always difficult and we usually get some tough weather, but these guys truly believe that's an advantage for us. Tough courses and tough conditions separate the good from the great, so as far as we’re concerned, the worse the better."
"Rich Harvest Farms is a long, demanding golf course that really doesn’t offer a lot of chances at birdie, so patience and mental toughness will play a big role in who advances to the national championship," Higgins added. "I like our chances on a course like this."
Other teams in the Central Regional (seeding in parentheses) are No. 3 Alabama (1), No. 5 Oklahoma State (2), No. 7 Lamar (3), No. 15 Louisville (5), No. 16 Tennessee (6), No. 21 Tulsa (7), Texas (8), TCU (9), Michigan State (10), Minnesota (11), Southeastern Louisiana (12), Northwestern (13), Texas Tech (14), Wisconsin (15), Purdue (16), Wichita State (17), SMU (18), Baylor (19), Kansas (20), Colorado (21), Nebraska (22), Oklahoma (23), Illinois State (24), Western Illinois (25), Siena (26) and Texas Southern (27).
Representing A&M will be sophomore Bronson Burgoon, freshman Austin Schauer, and juniors Bobby Gates, Martin Piller and Trey Todd. Burgoon, Gates and Piller were named to the All-Big 12 team last month.
Burgoon leads the Aggies with a 71.86 scoring average, which is challenging the school record of 71.90 set by All-American Philip Parkin in 1983-84. He has finished in the top 20 in nine of 10 tournaments, including at tie for fourth at the Big 12 Championship and a tie for third at the PING/Golfweek Preview.
Gates, an all-conference pick for the second straight year, has a 72.88 average and has posted four straight top-15 finishes. He tied Burgoon for fourth at the conference tournament. Piller has a 72.79 average and tied for sixth at the Big 12 Championship.
Schauer made just two tournament appearances in the fall, but has been been a mainstay in the lineup since winning the prestigious Morris Williams Intercollegiate in March and has posted a 73.65 average. Todd has has seven top-25 finishes in 11 tournaments and has recorded a 73.84 average.
All five A&M starters have posted at least one round of 68 or better this season and each has had at least one top 10 finish.