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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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Par-tee time in Sin City for the Southern Highlands Collegiate

Courtesy of Craig Bisacre/Texas A&M Athletics

The Texas A&M men’s golf team competed in the Marquette Intercollegiate tournament over the course of two days. 

From Lihue, Hawai’i to Las Vegas, the Texas A&M men’s golf team continued its spring slate at the Southern Highlands Collegiate on Feb. 25-27.

The Maroon and White arrived at the par 72, 7,510-yard Southern Highlands Golf Course for the second consecutive season. They previously recorded 4-under 860 to finish eighth for the 54-hole tournament.

“Southern Highlands is such a challenging course,” coach Brian Kortan said. “It challenges you in every aspect of how you play the game.”

The private course is just a few short miles away from the Las Vegas Strip and is home to only 360 members, all of whom are invited to join. The co-designed course was created with the help of Trent Jones’ architectural team and consists of waterfalls, flower gardens and complex bunkers. The infamous par 4, 16th hole and par 5, 18th hole have split fairways and require the golfer to strategize on the tee box. While one fairway is lined with a waste area and the other with a creek that runs towards the green, the golfer must decide to play it safe or risk the creek to near the green.

This year’s tournament had a highly competitive 15-team field including No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Auburn and No. 4 Arizona State.

The Aggies fired a strong first round led by sophomore Jaime Montojo where he posted five birdies at 3-under 69. Montojo completed the first round just three strokes behind individual leader Missouri senior Jack Lundin.

Junior Vishnu Sadagopan followed Montojo’s lead with four recorded birdies at 2-under 70.

This performance placed the Maroon and White tied for third with Pepperdine and San Diego State at 6-under 282 with No. 17 Illinois ahead by just 2 strokes.

No. 23 Florida led the leaderboard at 10-under 278 with junior Ian Gilligan’s six birdie round.

The second round consisted of 40 mph wind gusts and required the players to adapt quickly to the conditions.

“All the teams in our group struggled a little bit, but that’s golf,” Kortan said. “You have tee times and you have to handle the conditions you’re presented with. We didn’t do that as well as we could have. We needed to be more disciplined and efficient the entire round. We were at times and we weren’t that far from having a good round.”

A&M took a hit in the second round and fell six places to tie with Mizzou for ninth at 8-over.

The team leaderboard shuffled substantially with No. 15 Oklahoma taking the lead with the only under-par score of the day at 1-under 575. Florida fell to third under the intense conditions and finished 3-over.

Lundin’s performance stayed strong and he continued to hold the individual lead at 8-under with five recorded birdies and a two-stroke lead going into the final round.

The third round was a battle between Oklahoma and Auburn for the team title. Oklahoma sophomore Jase Summy recorded seven birdies to secure second place at 7-under. Auburn junior Brendan Valdes climbed six spots with five birdies and one eagle to place him in third just one stroke behind Summy.

Lundin recorded two bogeys and a double bogey and fell to fourth place in the final round after leading the individual leaderboard through Day 1 and 2.

Gilligan fired six birdies and posted an 8-under score to secure the individual title.

Oklahoma took home the team title with a three-stroke lead to Auburn at 8-under.

The Aggies tied for 10th with Georgia at 14-over.

“The finish isn’t where we want to be,” Kortan said. “That’s obvious, but there’s progress being made and we see it. I’m really pretty confident that it’s going to start showing up in the results. The guys fought hard. The golf course is really hard. It’s not an easy deal, so this probably isn’t the best place to see that progress in the results. It’s going to show up here in the near future.”

The Maroon and White are set to tee off at the Oakbourne Country Club in Lafayette, Louisiana for the Louisiana Classics on March 11-12.

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