THE WOODLANDS, Texas—Texas A&M senior Geoff Shaw carded a 3-under 69 on Tuesday and posted an impressive two-shot victory at The Woodlands All-American Intercollegiate outside Houston.
Shaw (Edmond, Okla.) carded an 11-under 205 (69-67-69) for the week on the par-72, 7,018-yard Tournament Course at The Woodlands Country Club. He has finished 12th or better in three straight tournaments, with Tuesday marking his first collegiate win. Shaw’s performance propelled the Aggies to a third-place finish overall.
“Geoff played fantastic,” head coach J.T. Higgins said. “He kept ball in play off the tee great. I think he was like 9-under on the par 5s for the week, so he really excelled there. Right now he’s playing fantastic golf, he’s confident, and that’s great to see. The harder he’s worked the better he’s played, and that’s making him work even harder.”
As a team, 15th-ranked Texas A&M turned in its third-straight sub-par round on Tuesday, finishing with a 19-under 845 (282-280-283). It marked the Aggies’ second-lowest team total of the year and left them just four shots back of the team champion, 10th-ranked Arkansas (841, -23). North Texas (842, -22) finished one stroke back in second place, while SMU (857, -7) was distant fourth.
“I’m proud of a couple of things,” Higgins said. “To post a 19-under is great, but also we kept fighting the whole way. Really in all three rounds we didn’t do much early, then we hit the par 5s on the back (13 and 15) and we were able to gain ground on everyone. Where teams were making pars we were making birdies and eagles. I wish we could have gotten off to a little bit better starts, but overall we are playing good golf. The guys are confident and playing well—there are just not a lot of complaints.”
Baylor (861, -3) finished fifth, followed by No. 17 Clemson (-1), Southeastern Louisiana (+3), Texas State (+6), host Houston (+7), Tulsa (+9), Louisiana-Lafayette (+10), UT Arlington (+15), Lamar (+23), Notre Dame (+23) and Rice (+43).
In addition to Shaw, four other Aggies finished in the top 25 individually. Redshirt freshman Greg Yates, playing as an individual, tied for 10th overall with a 3-under 213 (71-70-72). Junior Cameron Peck (73-71-70=214) and senior Jordan Russell (69-73-72=214) tied for 14th at 2-under par, while true freshman Ty Dunlap finished 25th with a 1-over 217 (71-69-77). Sophomore Johannes Veerman shot a 4-over 220 (75-73-72) and finished 42nd in his first tournament of the spring season.
“I think we’re playing our best golf of the year at the right time,” Higgins said when asked about the team’s depth. “Every day we just get better; you can see it. You can see the confidence growing in both the overall attitude and the play. The talent is starting to rise. I think it’s fantastic that we’re in sport that rewards you at the end of the year, and if you can get better every day you have a shot at the end, and that’s what we’ve done.”
Texas A&M now turns its attention to the Aggie Invitational, scheduled for next Saturday and Sunday (April 21 and 22) at Traditions Club in Bryan. Three other top-20 squads will join the Aggies in the 10-team field, including No. 1 Texas, No. 7 Oregon and No. 16 New Mexico.
“I think we’ve turned the Aggie Invitational into one of the best tournaments in the country,” Higgins said. “You’ve got all of the Big 12 South teams, and it’s a great conference. You’ve got the No. 1 team in the nation coming in. Oregon is a fantastic team; they are capable of winning any time they tee it up. And us, we are two-time defending champions and are playing at home. We’re big fans of Traditions and we’re looking forward to it. It’s going to be a great challenge with the field the way it is. It’s strong and it will be a good test.”