The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M catcher Jackson Appel (20) makes contact with a ball for a double during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Chancellor John Sharp during a Board of Regents meeting discussing the appointmet of interim dean Mark Welsh and discussion of a McElroy settlement on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the Memorial Student Center.
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Aggie golf squad travels to New Mexico

When head golf coach J.T. Higgins returns to the University of New Mexico Championship Course today with the Texas A&M men’s golf team, he will be returning to a familiar battleground. The only difference is now he will be rallying enemy troops instead of the home team.
As head coach for the University of New Mexico the past four years, Higgins led the Lobos to the NCAA tournament each year. However, when long-time Aggie golf coach Cliff Ellis retired after 27 years, Higgins was hired to take over a team that was only two strokes from appearing in the National Championships last May. Coach Higgins has been impressed with his new squad so far.
“There is definitely talent here. The guys also have a great work ethic, and a lot of heart from what I’ve seen,” Higgins said. “They play hard, and they battle for every shot. All the qualities are there to have a good golf team.”
One member of last year’s team that figures to play a major role this season is sophomore Stephen Reed. Reed led the team in scoring last year as a freshman, and finished twelfth in the NCAA Central Regional Tournament in May. He also tied the A&M freshman record when he carded a 66 at the Red River Classic last year.
Perhaps more impressive, Reed qualified to participate in last summer’s prestigious U.S. Amateur Tournament in Georgia. The field includes the top 312 amateur golfers in the country. He has already made a believer out of Coach Higgins, who has only good things to say about Reed.
“Stephen Reed is a coach’s dream,” Higgins said. “He works as hard as he can possibly work, and he’s always trying to do the right thing. He’s very talented. I feel very fortunate to have him there on our team, and having him here for the next three years is very exciting.”
Reed is not the only player returning from last year’s squad. The Aggies also return junior Dwayne Morley, last year’s second-leading scorer, as well as seniors Sean Gilliland, Josh McCoy, and Clay Fullick. In addition, the Aggies welcome four new players to the team, including true freshmen Rand Arbuckle and Tyler Garrett.
The Aggies will need all of them this weekend as they travel to play in the William Tucker Invitational. The tournament features seven of the nation’s top 20 teams, including second ranked Arizona and nineteenth ranked New Mexico.
Higgins knows his squad has a tough task ahead. He also realizes that regardless of how the team finishes this weekend, there is plenty of time to improve.
“We’re throwing them right into the fire,” Higgins said. “We’re going to find out where we stand right now. I think this will be a good place for us to measure ourselves against some quality teams. But this doesn’t mean anything for where we’ll be at the end of the year.”
Higgins can not predict where this year’s team will finish. But if Reed can improve on last year’s stellar performance and if the players continue to progress, the Aggies may get more than one shot at Higgins’s old team and face them again in the National Tournament.

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