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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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Golf tees off at Hooters

To a lot of people’s surprise, Hooters is becoming more than just a restaurant for the avid sports fan: The restaurant chain is now synonymous with one of the top collegiate golf tournaments in the nation.
Starting Sunday, the Texas A&M men’s and women’s golf teams will test their golfing skills at Mission Inn Resort in Howie-in-the-Hills, Fla., against some of the top competition in the nation at the Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championship.
The Aggie men’s and women’s golf teams were invited to the match play event based on last season’s stellar finishes. A&M men’s golf head coach J.T. Higgins said he is excited for the opportunity to play in such a prestigious event against the best teams in the country.
“We’re really looking forward to this opportunity to show how good we are,” Higgins said. “We’ve earned the chance to compete in this tournament. I think we can compete against anybody in the nation.”
Both A&M squads have had a solid start to the season. The men recently broke a 25-year school record, shooting 23-under par as a team and finishing second out of 14 teams at the Barona Collegiate Cup. Junior Andrew Parr paced the Aggies at 12-under par, which ranked him as the third lowest individual score in team history since current PGA professional Jeff Maggert’s 13-under par in 1986.
The women have had a tough time since the start of this season, going on a metaphorical roller coaster ride. The team recently finished second out of 19 teams at the Lady Razorback Invitation with sophomore Ashley Knoll finishing in a tie for 14th place individually.
The collegiate match play event is the only one of its kind in college golf and will be a measuring stick to gauge where both teams stand against best golfers in the nation. Unlike traditional stroke play where total team score is counted to determine a winner, match play is a competition format in which the round is played with the goal of winning individual holes.
For example, on hole No. 1, if you score four and your opponent gets a five, you win the hole. The objective is to win more holes than your opponent before the match is complete.
“This premiere event allows us to build upon an already amazing track for Lake County and Mission Inn in hosting national collegiate championships dating back to 1997,” said John Saboor, executive director of the Central Florida Sports Commission, in a press release. “We anxiously await the arrival of our country’s premiere collegiate players for what will assuredly be a one-of-a-kind event.”
The men will face top-ranked University of Georgia in a first round match, while the women will take on Arizona State in their first round match.
“We’ve been qualifying in match play format for this tournament,” saidA&M women’s head golf coach Jeanne Sutherland. “The tournament should bea lot of fun since it’s such a different approach from stroke play.”

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