Just days after the Texas A&M Women’s Golf team finished their best season in program history (taking down Texas before falling to Wake Forest in the NCAA Championship semifinals), the Men’s Golf team will now take their shot at a title, beginning NCAA Championship play today at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ. You can follow the live stats here.
All 30 teams embark on stroke play the first three days. The field is cut down to 15 teams for the final round of stroke play on Monday. The top eight teams advance to the match play bracket with the quarterfinals and semifinals contested Tuesday and the national champion decided Monday. The Aggies won the national championship in 2009, besting Arkansas in the title bout.
The Aggies earned their spot after a furious comeback in the Salem Regional. They trailed the cutoff for the final spot by as many as 14 strokes near the midway point of the third round, the Maroon & White posted 14 birdies on the final seven holes and played -11 over the span, forcing a playoff with Clemson which they eventually won.
Texas A&M fields a formidable lineup including All-SEC nods Sam Bennett and William Paysse. This season, Bennett was the Masters Tournament low amateur and 122nd U.S. Amateur champion along with earning a victory at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate. Paysse owns a season-opening win at the Badger Invitational. The fivesome is rounded out by Daniel Rodrigues, Phichaksn Maichon and Vishnu Sadagopan with Jaime Montojo serving as the reserve.
In what figures to be one of the fiercest NCAA Championships in recent history, the 21 of the teams in the Golfstat Rankings Top 25 survived regionals to make the 30-team field. The SEC boasts the largest contingent with eight squads participating.