BRYAN, Texas—The two-time defending champion Texas A&M men’s golf team is in the hunt for its third straight Aggie Invitational crown after wrapping two rounds on Saturday in second place at Traditions Club.
The 13th-ranked Aggies sit at 39-over par (378-381=759) and are seven shots back of the leader, eighth-ranked Oregon, with 18 holes to play. The two teams will be paired together along with Oklahoma for Sunday’s final round and will start from the first hole at approximately 9 a.m. Admission is free.
“I think we did okay,” head coach J.T. Higgins said. “We had to count way too many big numbers. There are just some places where you have to be on the correct side of the hole and we just didn't execute. We have to fix that for tomorrow. I'm amazed that we're as close as we are, we're right in contention. So I'm happy about that, that part’s going to be really good. We just have to make a few adjustments and come back tomorrow and I think we can win this thing.”
The winner on a beautiful Saturday which saw temperatures hover in the low 70s was a strong north wind, very unusual for this time of year. No team, which counts five scores in this tournament, finished a round lower than 16-over. The Ducks top the field at 32-over, while only one of the entire 70-player field—Oregon’s Daniel Miernicki at 1-under—broke par on the day.
“A north wind on this golf course makes it pretty challenging,” Higgins said. “It's set up for a south wind, so the par-5's play a lot tougher. Not to mention we had it set up pretty tough in the first place. We had tough pins and fast greens. You throw in a 20 mile per hour wind and that's going to be challenging for anybody.”
Oklahoma is two shots back of the Aggies in third at 41-over, followed by No. 1 Texas (+43), Oklahoma State (+49), Baylor (+57), Oregon State (+59) and New Mexico (+60). Texas Tech (+70) and Utah (+88) did not complete their second rounds and will resume play at 7:30 a.m. Sunday before starting their final round.
Individually Texas A&M was led by a gutty performance from junior All-American Cameron Peck, who sits in eighth place with a 5-over 149 (73-76). Peck injured his back on the eighth hole of the second round but still managed to play the back nine at even par.
“It was truly one of the gutsiest performances I’ve ever seen,” Higgins said. “He played the back nine at par and could barely walk. He hit some great shots. If he can hurt it worse, he won’t play tomorrow regardless of what he wants to do. But it sounds like he can’t hurt it worse it’s just what he can stand. We will definitely rest him the rest of this week before Big 12s.”
Senior Geoff Shaw continued his strong play and sits in 10th place overall with a 6-over 150 (77-73). Senior All-American Jordan Russell is in 12th at 7-over (77-74=151), freshman Ty Dunlap is one shot back in 15th at 8-over (71-81=152), redshirt freshman Greg Yates is in 41st at 14-over (81-77=158) and junior Case Cochran is in 51st at 17-over (80-81=161).
Sophomore Johannes Veerman, playing as an individual, sits in 23rd place with a 10-over 154 (77-77). Junior Drew Evans, also playing as an individual, is in 29th with a 12-over 156 (80-76=156). Wrapping the Aggie contingent were sophomores Ryan Kelley (81-81=162) and Jade Scott (89-83=172).
Sunday’s forecast calls for sunny skies, light winds and a high around 82.
Those unable to make it out to Traditions for Sunday’s final round can follow the action online at golfstat.com and aggieathletics.com. In addition, updates and photos can also be found through twitter at @AggieMensGolf.