A&M remains in first at Pullman Regional

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PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Texas A&M men's golf team remains at the top of the leaderboard through two rounds of play at the NCAA Pullman Regional. The Aggies shot 12-under 268 on the day and have a three-stroke lead on top-seeded Oklahoma, shooting 23-under 537 in the tournament. A&M logged three top-10 finishes in round two, led by sophomore Walker Lee who moved up to fifth shooting 7-under in the tournament. Oklahoma's Blaine Hale leads the field at 10-under.

"I'm really proud of the guys today, they showed an amazing amount of patience. We didn't get a lot of putts to drop on the front side. We were hitting a lot of good shots, had a lot of good looks, but they just weren't falling," said head coach J.T. Higgins. "The guys just stuck to the plan and kept giving themselves opportunities and eventually we were able to get them to fall on the back side to put together a great round. They never forced anything or got out of their rhythm, they just stuck to the game plan and put us in a great position to advance to NCAA Championships again.

"Chandler [Phillips] shot even par today, and for our team to shoot 12-under on the day and have him not carry his load is a great sign for our team. We feel like we have five guys that can contribute and go low and today they picked up that slack. When we have everything clicking, this team can compete with anyone in the country and I'm really proud of that. Brandon Smith was great today. He hit a lot of quality golf shots and put together a good score. Shooting 23-under is a good spot to be in, we are in good position and we are really looking forward to tomorrow."

It was another bogey-free day for Lee, who shot par-or-lower throughout the second round, tallying four birdies to finish 4-under 66 on the day. Junior Brandon Smith had a strong back nine, with three straight birdies down the stretch to match a career single round low of 65 on the day. Smith is joined by senior Chandler Phillips in the nine-spot as both are 6-under par in the tournament. Phillips eagled twice on the back nine but was two over on the final hole. Freshman Sam Bennett also added an impressive performance on the back nine. After shooting even through the first nine holes, Bennett tallied four birdies after the turn to tie for 18th at 4-under.