Texas A&M in Fourth after Aggie Invite Day #1

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BRYAN, Texas — The 2013 Aggie Invitational teed off Saturday during a breezy day at Traditions Golf Club and after 36 holes the No. 23 Texas A&M men’s golf team sits in fourth place.

“I was proud of our guys, top-to-bottom they fought hard all day,” Texas A&M head coach J.T. Higgins said. “Everybody did a really good job of keeping it around par and I didn’t think conditions were that easy out there. Alabama looked like they were playing a different golf course than the rest of us but if you look at it, we are really competitive with a lot of great teams. We’re finding it and we were really close to having a great round this afternoon; we made a couple boogies coming in but otherwise it was really good.”

The second-ranked Crimson Tide (278-283=561) lead the field at the event with a team score of 15-under par, while No. 20 Kent State (289-284=573; three-under par), No. 6 Washington (295-282=577; +1), Texas A&M (291-288=579; +3) and No. 5 UCLA (289-294=583; +7) filled out the leaderboard’s top five.

Rounding out the standings after two rounds was No. 17 Arkansas, No. 15 LSU, No. 30 Oklahoma, No. 8 Duke, No. 13 Oklahoma State, No. 28 North Texas and No. 35 Texas Tech, respectively.

“We want the best teams here,” Higgins added. “We do this all year; we’re trying to play against the best teams we can because that’s how you get better. If you want to be the best, you’re going to have to beat them at some point. They (Alabama) outplayed us today, but I believe we can compete with those guys and have the ability. We are going to see them at the SEC Championship, possibility in the same regional and hopefully at the National Championship. We’re going to have to get by them at some point if we want to reach our goals.”

Leading the charge for the Aggies was junior Johannes Veerman (73-69=142), who fired a second-round 69 to end the day in a tie for seventh place individually at two-under par.

Redshirt freshman Andrew Lister (73-72=145), making just his second appearance in a tournament for the Aggies this season and his first as a member of the line-up and not an individual, is one-over par for the event to hold a tie for 12th place.

Sophomore Greg Yates (71-76=147) and senior Drew Evans (74-73=147) each own a share of 18th place at three-over par, while senior Cameron Peck (76-74=150) sits in a tie for 38th.

In addition to the five players in the line-up, the Aggies had six players competing in the field as individuals with freshman Ben Crancer (74-72=146) the highest ranking among them in a tie for 15th at two-over par after 36 holes.

Junior Jade Scott (74-75=149) sits in a tie for 32nd and sophomore Ty Dunlap (73-79=152) is tied for 46th. Meanwhile, senior Case Cochran (77-76=153) shares 52nd place and freshman Adrià Arnaus (77-77=154) is a shot back among four players tied in 57th.

A&M junior Ryan Kelley (81-79=160) enjoyed the shot of the day when he carded a hole-in-one on No. 16 during the opening round, but ended play in 71st place.

The tournament concludes Sunday morning with the first golfers teeing off at both No. 1 and No. 10 beginning at 7:30 a.m. During the final round, the Aggies will be paired with UCLA and Arkansas and will get their day started at the No. 1 tee box.

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