Higgins named SEC Coach of the Year, five Aggies earn conference accolades

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BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Five Texas A&M golfers and head coach J.T. Higgins earned recognition on the 2019-20 Southeastern Conference Men’s Golf Awards, which were voted on by the league’s 14 head coaches.

Higgins, who just finished his 20th season at the helm of the golf team, was named SEC Coach of the Year for his team’s stellar 2019-20 season that included a pair of tournament victories and a final No. 6 ranking in the Golf Coaches Association of America poll. It was the first SEC Coach of the Year award for Higgins, who previously received coach of the year plaudits from the Big 12 Conference and the Mountain West Conference.

“Coach of the year is a huge honor in this league of great coaches,” Higgins said. “In the end though, the award is a reflection of this team and all that they accomplished this season. This year was a blast and I appreciate these guys bringing me along for the ride.”

Earning spots on the All-SEC first or second team were redshirt freshman William Paysse (First Team), sophomore Sam Bennett (Second Team) and junior Walker Lee (Second Team). Paysse and fellow freshman Jimmy Lee were named to the All-Freshman Team.

“I’m so proud of this team and all they accomplished this season,” Higgins said. “I think these awards just speak to their dedication and hard work. It also shows how deep we were as a team and why we were so excited about the championship season this year. The good news is all these guys are back for another run next year.”

Paysse, from Belton, Texas, posted a 71.62 scoring average while seeing action in seven tournaments. He posted three top three finishes, including his first collegiate victory at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate. He had six rounds of 70 or better, including a career-low 7-under par 63 at the Sea Best Invitational.

Bennett, from Madisonville, Texas, missed two fall tournaments due to an injury, but still finished the year with four top 20 performances. He led the team with a 71.17 scoring average and posted eight rounds of 70 or better. His best finish was a tie for third at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate and he also posted a tie for fifth at the San Diego Classic.

Walker Lee, from Houston, was a model of consistency with seven top 25 finishes in eight outings in 2019-20. He posted a scoring average of 71.54, while carding six rounds of 70 or better. He was the individual champion at the Cabo Collegiate after closing with a course record 64 in the final round.

Jimmy Lee, from Mission, Texas, posted a 72.22 scoring average while seeing action in six collegiate tournaments and also tallied a top 10 finish in the Asia-Pacific Amateur in Shanghai, China last fall. Lee’s score counted in 17 of 18 rounds and he posted six rounds of 70 or better, including a low round of 68 at the Cabo Collegiate.

Also earning SEC accolades was junior Reese Ramsey, who was named to the SEC Community Service Team.

2019-20 SEC Men’s Golf Awards

FIRST TEAM ALL-SEC

Davis Thompson, Georgia
John Augenstein, Vanderbilt
Trent Phillips, Georgia
John Axelsen, Florida
Ricky Castillo, Florida
Jovan Rebula, Auburn
William Paysse, Texas A&M
Julian Perico, Arkansas
Jamie Wilson, South Carolina

SECOND TEAM ALL-SEC

Reid Davenport, Vanderbilt
Walker Lee, Texas A&M
Sam Bennett, Texas A&M
Rhys Nevin, Tennessee
Spencer Cross, Tennessee
Andrew Kozan, Auburn
William Buhl, Arkansas
Graysen Huff, Auburn

COACH OF THE YEAR

J.T. Higgins, Texas A&M

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

John Augenstein, Vanderbilt

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR

Ricky Castillo, Florida

ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM

William Paysse, Texas A&M
Ricky Castillo, Florida
Jimmy Lee, Texas A&M
William Moll, Vanderbilt
Alex Vogelsong, Auburn

COMMUNITY SERVICE TEAM

Ben Fuller, Alabama
Wil Gibson, Arkansas
Graysen Huff, Auburn
Manny Girona, Florida
David Sikes, Georgia
Jacob Cook, Kentucky
Drew Gonzales, LSU
Charlie Miller, Ole Miss
Griffin Agent, Mississippi State
Tommy Boone, Missouri
Jack Parrott, South Carolina
Spencer Cross, Tennessee
Reese Ramsey, Texas A&M
Michael Shears, Vanderbilt