FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The Texas A&M men's golf team moved up the leaderboard to third place after round two of the NCAA Championships at The Blessings Golf Club (par 72/7,550 yards) Saturday afternoon. The Aggies shot 1-under on the day to earn a top-three spot in the tournament (296-287=583, +7). Oklahoma State leads the field shooting 10-under through two rounds and Stanford sits in second at 2-over.
"I thought the guys did a great job today. This golf course is so tough and demanding," said head coach J.T. Higgins. "It's going to test your emotional stability, your mental fortitude and your physical talents. If any one of those is a weakness it's going to be exposed. The guys have really stepped up and been superb in all areas and I couldn't be more proud of them. They played an under par round in the afternoon on this golf course, which is pretty spectacular."
Junior Brandon Smith had the low round for A&M, using four birdies on the front nine to position himself to finish the day 2-under. For the tournament, Smith is shooting even par (74-70=144) and is tied for ninth. Sophomore Walker Lee is tied for 16th shooting 1-over through two rounds (71+74=145). Freshman Sam Bennett remained consistent, shooting par or lower on 16 holes to match his first round score (73), as he is tied for 22nd. Senior Chandler Phillips made a huge jump in round two, finishing 2-under on the day. He tallied five birdies, two coming on the first two holes of the day, and is currently tied for 37th at 4-over (78-70=148).
"We get to play with the leaders tomorrow, we'll play with Oklahoma State and Stanford. It's always great to play alongside the best competition in the field," said Higgins. "We have to keep it up, though. There are so many good teams here and everyone is getting more comfortable with the golf course, so we'll start to see lower and lower scores as the week goes on, but it will be nice to have a head start."
The Aggies will play the third round of initial stroke play before the field is cut to 15 for Monday's final round of stroke play.