SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The No. 14 Texas A&M Aggies finished the first round of the NCAA Championships tied for 15th place at 9-over 289 after Friday’s action at Grayhawk Golf Club.
The field is tight after the first day with the top 20 teams separated by 10 strokes. The Aggies are nine strokes off the pace heading into day two.
The par-70, 7,289-yard Raptor Course at Grayhawk was the winner on the first day. No team was able to break par as Georgia Tech leads the field at even 280. The top five includes Arkansas and Pepperdine one stroke back at 1-over 281 followed by North Carolina and Texas Tech at 2-over 282.
The magic number for the Aggies is five strokes, which is how far they sit behind the eighth-place spot. The top eight teams after the four rounds of stroke play advance to the quarterfinal match play bracket.
On a day which birdies were hard to come by, Daniel Rodrigues paced the Aggies with three. He led A&M with an even 70 to finish the day tied for 19th place.
Phichaksn Maichon and William Paysse are among a logjam of 23 players tied for 47th place at 2-over 72.
Sam Bennett and Vishnu Sadagopan rounded out the Aggie fivesome with scores of 75 and 76.
Texas A&M goes out in the morning wave Saturday with Vishnu Sadagopan teeing off at hole No. 1 at 9:05 a.m. Central.
COACH KORTAN QUOTES
On the round…
“We didn’t get off to the best start. We made a handful of bogeys on our first hole, but after that we played pretty well. We hung in there and shot 9-over-par which is right in the middle of the pack. That was no easy task playing in the afternoon today. I’m proud of the way the guys hung in there. They steadied the ship and have us in the fight playing in the national championship.
Approach going into tomorrow…
“We’re playing in the morning so the course will be a little more receptive. We just have to go out and execute. We talked about relaxing and freeing ourselves up a little bit to play the way we want to play. The guys are looking forward to getting out there in the morning. If they play some good golf and take care of the golf ball we’ll have a good day.”
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