SAN MARCOS, Texas – Texas A&M women’s golf had its best 36-hole score since 2015, shooting a 9-under 567 in the first day of the Jim West Challenge.
The Aggies posted six individual rounds of even-par or better on Sunday, as the Aggies shot a season-best 8-under 280 to open the competition—the Aggies’ best round of the season and the seventh-best round in school history. Texas A&M had a 1-under 287 in the afternoon round. It is the third-best 36-hole score in school history.
“I saw a lot of good shots today, and obviously a lot of opportunities for birdies,” head coach Andrea Gaston said. “I feel like this is a real confidence boost for the team, and hopefully we’ll regroup this evening and come out tomorrow and give us our best round.”
Blanca Fernández García-Poggio and Brooke Tyree co-led the Aggies with 5-under 139s, tying for 12th. Fernández García-Poggio now has four consecutive rounds of par-or-better, starting her day with a 3-under 69 followed by a 2-under 70. The Madrid, Spain native had 11 birdies—the second-most in the tournament—and played the eight par 5s at 6-under par.
“I hit all the greens on the par-5s, so that’s good for making birdies,” Fernández García-Poggio said. “I made some putts, and I missed some putts, but overall I played well.”
Like her teammate, Tyree had a 3-under 69 followed by a 2-under 70 on the par 72 / 6,033-yard course that opened in 2018. Tyree is up to 3 par-or-better rounds on the season, recapturing the form that earned her a top-10 finish at the season-opening Glass City Invitational. Tyree and Fernández García-Poggio are three strokes off the four-way tie for the individual lead.
“I feel like my chipping and putting was working today,” Tyree said. “I got up-and-down pretty much every time I missed the green, so I wasn’t really worried about missing the green. Then I made the birdie putts on the greens I did hit.”
The Aggies are 15 strokes behind tournament co-leaders Texas Tech and Ole Miss. Texas A&M is in eighth place entering Monday’s final round.
Courtney Dow and Amber Park each turned in a 1-over 145 to tie for 43rd. Dow had an even-par 72 in the opening round, followed by a 1-over 73. Park posted a season-best 2-under 70 in the opening round, followed by a 3-over 75. Park posted 27 pars, one off the tournament lead.
Texas A&M tees off in a shotgun start on holes No. 8-10 at 8:30 a.m. Monday. Live scoring for the event is available on golfstat.com, and live updates are available on Twitter at @AggieWomensGolf.
A collection of excellent shots by the Aggies today:
· Amber Park was faced with 182 yards to the hole on the par-5, 485-yard 5th. She drilled a 5-iron to within six feet of the hole, and walked away with her third birdie of the day.
· Elizabeth Caldarelli went into attack mode on the par-4, 241-yard 18th in the second round. She drilled her drive off the flagstick, which gave her an easy two-putt for birdie.
· On the par-3, 125-yard 15th, Courtney Dow was 82-feet from the hole—but that did not pose any problems as she snaked in the putt for birdie
· On the par-5, 485-yard 5th, Brooke Tyree’s last hole of the day, she rolled her chip to the perfect landing spot, and stopped a foot from the cup, giving her an easy birdie.
· Blanca Fernández García-Poggio, who played the eight par-5s at 6-under, nearly registered an albatross, knocking a 5-hybrid that rolled just past the cup.