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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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Aggie golf to kick off season this weekend

Andrew+Lister
Cody Franklin

Andrew Lister

It is the middle of September, which means the collegiate golf season is just getting under way.

The Texas A&M men’s golf team will open its season on Friday as the Aggies participate in the Fighting Illinois Invitational, which will be played at the beautiful Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Illinois.

“This time of year is always great and to start out at a place that just hosted the U.S. Amateur, on one of [the] best courses in the country, against a great field of teams,” said J.T. Higgins, A&M men’s golf coach. “We just can’t wait to get out there and see what we can do.”

After finishing tenth out of 14 teams in last year’s SEC Tournament, Higgins said the team has made a point to improve in several areas, most notably its performance on the green.

“We really made a huge commitment to our putting,” Higgins said. “We felt like that was a weakness last season, and that is not usually the case for us. We’re seeing the work paying off already and getting great results. We feel like we’ve got a chance to be a great putting team this year and to be more accountable for our scores, which will make us competitive.”

Adria Arnaus, Ben Crancer and Andrew Lister all return to the Aggies for their senior seasons and, while Higgins said he is happy that they are back, he also said they have had to earn their place even though they have seniority.

“Cameron [Champ] is back healthy so we knew things were going to be a lot more competitive and we were going to be a deeper team,” Higgins said. “The three older guys knew their jobs were on the line and they had to go earn their spots back and they did. They stepped right up and came in well-prepared and ready to go.”

Similar to past years, the Aggies will kick off their season in extremely tough tournaments in an effort to accurately measure what kind of a team they have and how they stack up to the other elite teams around the country.

“You’ve got to play against the best teams to see where you stack up,” Higgins said. “I don’t know if you necessarily have to do it the first tournament of the year like we’re doing, but we’ve had three weeks of great practice to get ready. I think everybody is itching to get out there and tee it up to see where we stand, because if you want to win a National Championship or an SEC Championship, those are the teams you’ve got to beat. I think we’re really excited to show we can play with this field and compete with anybody.”

The A&M women’s golf team also starts its season this weekend, as they will play in the Schooner Fall Classic, held in Norman, Oklahoma. They played in the same tournament to begin last season, finishing third out of 17 teams.
Last year’s team won the SEC Tournament and advanced all the way to NCAA Championship in Bradenton, Florida. On Saturday, they will take their first step in trying to replicate that success.

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