Aggies, Erickson sweep titles at Border Olympics
LAREDO, Texas – The Texas A&M men’s golf team opened its spring schedule with a sweep of the team and individual titles at the 2021 Border Olympics, which concluded on Tuesday at the Laredo Country Club.
Holding a three-shot advantage heading into the final round, the Aggies left the field in the dust with a 4-under par round that led to an eight-stroke victory over the second-place Texas Longhorns. For the tournament, the Aggies were 2-under with rounds of 285-293-284=862 as Brian Kortan logged the first team title as head coach of the Aggies.
“I’m really proud of the guys,” Kortan said. “It’s been tough in terms of preparation. The guys have been out of their routine and then they’re thrown into a tournament that we scheduled a week ago. But they absolutely responded and did a great job of putting good scores on the board. It was very important for the guys to gain some confidence after the ups and downs and uncertainty of the fall season. This is a great group of guys and they are Aggies through and through. I’m so proud of the way they battled and were able to bring a trophy back to Aggieland.”It’s tough to win in golf, so to get a win in my first year is going to be a memory that I will cherish for a long time.”
Aggie “super” senior Dan Erickson eagled his final hole to force a playoff and then out-dueled Hunter Ostrom of Texas for the win with a par on the second playoff hole. It was the second career tournament win for Erickson, who also won the Louisiana Classics in 2018.
Heading into his final hole (which was the first hole due to the shotgun start), Erickson saw that he was two shots off the leader. After a solid drive on the 584-yard par five, Erickson used a three wood from 266 yards to get within six feet of the flag. Erickson converted the six-footer to force the playoff.
“We’ve put in a lot of work over the winter break and it feels great to start the spring with a win,” Erickson said. “The main reason I came back is because our roster is so stacked and we all believed we had unfinished business from 2020. We didn’t play as well as we would’ve liked in the fall but know what we are capable of and it’s exciting to start the spring with a win, with the team and individually.”
Other Aggies contributing counting scores in the third round were freshman Daniel Rodrigues with a 4-under 68, which matched the low round of the tournament, senior Walker Lee with an even par 72 and senior Brandon Smith with a 1-over 73.Rounding out the Aggies in the final standings, junior Sam Bennett tied for fifth at 1-under (69-70-76), Lee tied for ninth at even par (69-75-72), Rodrigues tied for 25th at 7-over (77-78-68) and Smith tied for 43rd at 11-over (76-78-73). Playing as an individual, sophomore William Paysse tied for 37th at 10-over (79-73-74).Notables…Erickson became the seventh Aggie to win the individual title at the Border Olympics, joining Danny Briggs (1981), Gary Krueger (1983), Randy Lee (1989), Anthony Rodriguez (1995), Jeff Brown (1997) and Ryan Palmer (1998) … it was the Aggies’ fifth team title at the Border Olympics and first since 2003.