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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

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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The Battalion May 4, 2024

A&M men’s golf places second, advances to weekend match play

Courtesy of Bailey Orr/Texas A&M Athletics

The Texas A&M men’s golf team capped off its 2021 fall season recording a second place team finish at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate in a talented field. 

The Texas A&M men’s golf team has experienced highs and lows in 2022, but with victories in two of its last three tournaments, one could make the case that the team is peaking at the right time. The SEC Championship Tournament provided a great opportunity for No. 19 A&M to prove itself, as 10 other ranked teams would hit the links alongside it.
The Aggies left town for the first time since late March, as they competed in stroke play from Wednesday, April 20 to Friday, April 22 at Sea Island Golf Club on the Seaside Course in St. Simons Island, Ga. With the stakes high and the pressure up, A&M played better than needed to make the weekend’s match play portion of the tournament.
A&M got off to a great start in Round 1, as it finished in fourth place at 1-under-par. The maroon and white maintained its spot in fourth after Round 2 at 6-under. With the top eight teams advancing to the weekend for match play, the Aggies were in great position heading into Round 3 action on Friday. They ended up leapfrogging LSU and No. 16 Florida to finish in second place at 13-under — one stroke ahead of the latter and three strokes shy of No. 3 Vanderbilt.
Freshman Phichaksn Maichon put together one of the best opening rounds in the entire field on Day 1 with a 3-under-par 67. After carding a bogey on the par-3 third hole, he rattled off four birdies to finish Round 1 in a tie for second with five other golfers.
Fifth-year No. 17 Walker Lee had a vanilla Round 1 performance, as he made 16 pars — including one on every hole on the back-nine — for an even-par 70. Junior William Paysse minimized mistakes on Day 1 with a 1-over-par 71. Sophomore Daniel Rodrigues converted back-to-back birdies on holes 17 and 18 to get into the clubhouse with a 1-over-par 71 along with his teammate Paysse.
Senior No. 1 Sam Bennett had a forgetful first round of play, as he carded five bogeys on the front-nine alone en route to a 4-over-par 74.
“It was a tough day as the wind blew pretty hard,” A&M coach Brian Kortan told following Wednesday’s action. “The weather is going to be like it was for the next few days. Phichaksn [Maichon’s] round was great. It was huge for us.”
Round 2 featured the Maichon show again, as the Bangkok native carded six birdies — three going out and three coming in — for another 3-under-par 67. He sat in solo first place on the player leaderboard through 36 holes with a 6-under 134.
Bennett turned things around in emphatic fashion on Thursday with a bogey-free 4-under-par 66. His second round performance was the lowest for an Aggie in the tournament through the first two rounds of play.
Rodrigues see-sawed over the last 11 holes to an even-par 70 in Round 2. Paysse made only one birdie during a 2-over-par 72 performance on Day 2. Lee regressed in the second round, as he carded four bogeys and one double-bogey en route to a 4-over 74.
“Phichaksn [Maichon] has done a great job,” Kortan told after Thursday’s play. “He is scoring his golf ball really well. It was good to see Sam [Bennett] bounce back as yesterday was kind of an off day for him. We have to play a great round of golf tomorrow.”
Despite sleeping on the 36-hole lead, Round 3 proved to be a nightmare for Maichon, as he carded a 9-over-par 79. His third round performance dropped him from first to a tie for 34th with a final score 3-over 213 for the tournament.
Bennett’s Day 3 success was synonymous with his team’s rise up the leaderboard, as he fired a 3-under-par 67 to finish in a tie for fifth with five other golfers with a 3-under 207 for the tournament. The Madisonville native went 33 consecutive holes bogey-free before carding one on the par-4 16th hole on Friday. Nonetheless, 7-under over the last two rounds has him trending in the right direction heading into match play.
Paysse had a busy scorecard in Round 3 with six birdies and four bogeys paving the way to a 2-under-par 68. He finished with a 1-over 211 for the tournament that placed him in a tie for 23rd. Rodrigues improved from hole one to 54, as he carded a final round 2-under 68 that landed him in a tie for 15th with a 1-under 209. Lee finished how he started with an even-par 70 that left him in a tie for 39th with a 4-over 214.
“You come here, and the first step is to get to play for an SEC championship by getting through stroke play and getting to match play,” Kortan told “I’m really proud of the guys for sticking to it and fighting to get into match play.”
Vanderbilt maintained its perch atop the leaderboard from Round 1 through Round 3 to win stroke play at 16-under par. The Commodores placed two players in the top three with freshman No. 3 Gordon Sargent, 5 under, and sophomore No. 8 Cole Sherwood, 4 under.
Florida junior John Dubois finished alone in first place on the player leaderboard with a 6-under-par 204. His 6-under 64 in Round 2 was tied for the lowest single-round score of the week.
A&M is the 2-seed in the eight team match play bracket over the weekend. The Aggies face the 7-seed No. 18 Tennessee Volunteers in the quarterfinals early on Saturday, April 23 in an elimination match.
“Match play is different than stroke play, as it becomes more individual,” Kortan told “We have to figure out how to get three points. I know we will come out and work as hard as we can to get those points.”

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