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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M Men’s Golf Advances to National Championship

The Texas A&M Men’s Golf Team advanced to the national championship match at the NCAA Championship tournament at Inverness Golf Club in Toledo, Ohio. The national championship appearance is the furthest A&M golf has ever advanced in the tournament’s history.
The Aggies defeated No. six Michigan 3-1-1 in match play semi finals Friday afternoon.
“It’s so fantastic,” said Head Coach JT Higgins. “Michigan was unbelievable and they wouldn’t go away. We had a chance to close them out several times and they kept fighting and fighting. I was so impressed with their team and they were amazing. We kept trying to answer their punches by throwing a counterpunch. We kept coming at them. It was a great match all the way around.”
In match play A&M’s five players face off against the opposing schools five players in individual match ups. Senior Bronson Burgoon continued his tournament excellence by defeated Michigan’s Lion Kim. Junior Andrea Pavan and Senior Matt Van Zandt downed Alexander Sitompul and Bill Rankin respectively. Sophomore John Hurley tied with Matt Thompson. Michigan’s only victory came when Nick Pumford defeated Sophomore Conrad Shindler.
A&M started the Championship tournament ranked twelfth and climbed as high as third after a historic round on Wednesday where they shot eight under par, A&M’s best round in the championship since 1982. Michigan was not ranked at the time of the last golf top 25 poll but made the national tournament and defeated No. three USC to face A&M.
“The guys played great,” said Michigan Head Coach Andrew Sapp of his Wolverines. “Obviously it’s disappointing to lose such a close match but I couldn’t be more proud of the guys. We were the Cinderallas but I guess the clock struck midnight.”
The Aggies will now face No. four Arkansas on Saturday morning for the national championship. The Razorbacks defeated No. eight Georgia 3-1-1.
“We feel great and the kids did a great job,” said Arkansas Head Coach Brad McMakin. “We played a great team in Georgia and they’re the best team in the country. We’re just fortunate to come away with a win. Anything can happen in match play and we just caught fire the last couple of days and hopefully it can continue tomorrow.”
Arkansas’ victory over the Bulldogs avenges their earlier loss to Georgia at the SEC Championship tournament. Arkansas finished runner up to the Bulldogs in that tournament. At the time of the final top 25 poll, Georgia was the near consensus number one team in the nation while Arkansas finished ninth. Texas A&M was ranked 16.
On Saturday the former Southwestern Conference rivals will match up in an unlikely championship match.
“Last year we finished 12th and that was the best finish in 26 years,” Higgins said. “This year our big goal was to get to match play and we treated it as another regional. We knew it was one match at a time and that’s what we’ve done.”
The Aggies No. five player Shindler will face off against Jaime Marshall. Four seeds Van Zandt and Jason Cuthbertson tee off after them and are followed by the three seeds Hurley and Ethan Tracey. No. two Pavan squares off against David Lingerman and one seeds Burgoon and Andrew Landry cap off the match.
“I’m relieved first of all,” said senior Matt Van Zandt. “I played great today and it was a fun match. This is a dream and you practice for exactly what I just faced. To see your team and to be able to pick them up that was tremendous. My team picked me up when I was down and this shows what a team game this is. It means the world to me.”

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