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The Battalion

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A&M women’s golf finishes Puerto Rico Classic in fourth

Sophomore+Zoe+Slaughter%26%23160%3Btied+for+ninth+at+the+Mountain+View+Collegiate+tournament+on+Friday%2C+March+19+through+Sunday%2C+March+21+at%26%23160%3Bthe+Preserve+at+SaddleBrooke+Golf+Course+in+Tucson%2C+Ariz.
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Sophomore Zoe Slaughter tied for ninth at the MountainView Collegiate tournament on Friday, March 19 through Sunday, March 21 at the Preserve at Saddlebrooke Golf Course in Tucson, Ariz.

The No. 12 Texas A&M women’s golf team traveled to Rio Grande, Puerto Rico to compete in the Puerto Rico Classic at the par 72, 6,305-yard Grand Reserve Golf Club on Feb. 4-6.

Coach Gerrod Chadwell brought his top five contenders to compete as a team with two additional players to compete as individuals.

The team consisted of junior Adela Cernousek, graduate Jennie Park, freshman Cayetana Fernández García-Poggio, freshman Sky Sudberry and graduate Blanca Fernández García-Poggio. The two individual competing players were senior Zoe Slaughter and sophomore Mia Nixon.

Round 1 consisted of an 18-hole stroke play. Cernousek, runner-up for the Stephens Cup in October 2023, birdied three of the first five holes and was solo in first for the beginning of the day and rounded out tied in seventh with 2-under 70.

Near the end of the round, the Aggies were just three birdies away from being tied with LSU for the lead.

Blanca Fernández García-Poggio, the No. 2-ranked amateur in the world and runner-up at the 2023 World Amateur Team Championship, birdied three out of her last four holes, tying her for fifth. Her birdies also tied her team for first place for a short period.

She led her team with 69 strokes and right behind her was Cernousek with 70.

The Maroon and White shot 4-under 284 as a team and were positioned second, right below the 7-under 283 LSU.

Park ended Round 1 +2 and tied for 46th while Sudberry ended +4 and tied for 59th. Slaughter, +5, tied for 65th and Nixon, +10, tied for 85th.

“We competed really well out there today,” Chadwell said. “This was our first 18-hole round of competition this semester, and in a lot of ways it felt like it … Blanca’s last few holes were huge for us to hold our position heading into tomorrow and for her confidence moving forward.”

The Aggies shot 1-over 289, keeping them in the spot for second and continuing to stay behind LSU who also shot 1-over 289.

“Conditions were really wet and windy today, but we fought through that very well,” Chadwell said. “We hung in there and gave ourselves a chance tomorrow. It wasn’t all pretty, but we have some positives that we can take into the third round to compete for the title against some really good teams.”

Near the end of Round 2, A&M was in the lead with 1-under, but that first position soon dropped back to second.

Blanca Fernández García-Poggio shot another 1-under 71, leaving her just two shots away from the lead.

Cernousek and Park shot even-par 72 and were left in a tie for 10th and 29th while Cayetana Fernández García-Poggio went 2-over 74 and tied for 19th. Sudberry tied for 64th.

Individual Slaughter tired for 54th and shot 1-over 73. Nixon tied for 86th.

The final round knocked the Aggies down two spots as they rounded out the competition in fourth.

Starting off strong, A&M headed to the first position with 5-under and a two-stroke lead.

Going back and forth with LSU for first, Blanca Fernández García-Poggio shot an eagle for a tie.

Near the end, A&M bounced down to fourth with 2-under and remained there for the rest of the tournament.

No. 3 Arkansas took the win with a 12-under 276 score, completing the tournament with a 10-under 854. No. 11 LSU, -9, bumped down one to second and No. 17 Auburn, -8, finished in third.

Blanca Fernández García-Poggio stayed consistent, leading the Aggies throughout the duration of the tournament and finishing with a share of third.

Cernousek shot a 2-under 214 and tied for 11th. She is leading the team with a stroke average of 70.50.

Park shot a 2-over 218 and shared 27th. Cayetana Fernández García-Poggio posted 3-over 219 and tied for 31st. Closing out the lineup, Sudberry shot a 9-over 225, tying for 52nd.
Slaughter and Nixon were both tied for 69th and 83rd.

“You can never replace the experience of playing in a final group and competing against some great teams,” Chadwell said. “We made some costly mistakes that were unforced that plagued us all three rounds. We will work on those things and get ready to come out next week.”

The team will travel to Melbourne, Florida for the Moon Golf Invitational on Feb. 18-20.

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Idani Cantu, Sports Writer
Idani Cantu is a senior Agricultural Communication and Journalism major.
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