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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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Photo by Courtesy of Craig Bisacre/Texas A&M Athletics

Senior member of the Texas A&M golf team Sam Bennett secured a podium finish at the second tournament of the 2021 season. 

The Texas A&M Men’s Golf team finished its stake in the Maridoe Collegiate Invitational on Wednesday, Sept. 15, with one Aggie finding the podium. 

Senior Sam Bennett shot a strong 4-under-par final round to tie for third overall. According to 12thman.com, the finish marked the ninth time Bennett finished in the top 10 in his collegiate career. Bennett finished one shot behind winner Cameron Sisk from Arizona State and Baard Skogen from Texas Tech. On the team leaderboard, the Aggies finished sixth with a score of 17-over-par after the three rounds.

Head coach Brian Kortan said he was impressed with the way Bennett continued to prove how much of an asset he is to the A&M team.

 “Sam did a great job and showed once again that he is a great competitor and one of the best players in college golf,” Kortan said. 

After round one of the tournament, A&M finished tied for seventh at 10-over-par. Other notable schools ahead of the Aggies were Texas, Baylor and tournament leader Oklahoma at 2-over-par.

A&M’s play improved in the second round as it managed to climb into a tie for fifth place with Texas Tech after a 4-over round. The maroon and white trailed tournament leader Arizona State by 14 strokes heading into the final round of play.

A&M completed the third and final round of the tournament with a score of 3-over-par and a combined score of 17-over-par, finishing in sixth place. Tournament winner Oklahoma won with an impressive score of 3-under. Texas and Arizona State rounded out the top three with scores of 2-under and 2-over. 

The other two teams in front of the Aggies were Liberty and Texas Tech. In the end, a lackluster first round gave the Aggies too much of a hill to climb. However, their improved play in the final two rounds is an encouraging prospect for the Aggies going forward.

Other notable Aggie performers were freshman Michael Heidelbaugh and fifth year senior Walker Lee, who finished tied for 20th and tied for 23rd, respectively. For Heidelbaugh, the invitational marked his second-consecutive top-20 finish, an impressive start to his A&M career.

Kortan said the maroon and white needs more well-rounded team performances to compete with other tournament contenders.

“We need to do more behind him to finish well in these strong events,” Kortan said. “We saw a lot of good things this week, but we have to put five scores together. We need to be stronger at the bottom to compete against the best teams in the country. We need to work to get there.”

Kortan also said the Aggies now have to get back to work and improve after the early start to the season.

“It is a quick start to the season with two tournaments just a couple weeks in to the semester, but we have a lot of good stuff to build on,” Kortan said. “I am looking forward to getting back, getting to work and getting better.”

Next up for the Aggies is the SEC Match Play Championship at Shoal Creek Country Club in Shoal Creek, Ala. The tournament will begin on Sunday, Oct. 10 and conclude on Tuesday, Oct. 12.

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