Franklin, Tenn. – The Texas A&M men’s golf team rallied on the back nine holes for a second straight day and grabbed sole possession of second place at the Legends Collegiate on Monday at the Vanderbilt Legends Club.
The Aggies head into Tuesday’s final round trailing Vanderbilt by 10 strokes. Texas A&M posted a 10-under par 274 on Monday and stand at 22-under for the tournament. Rounding out the top five in the standings were Georgia (-21), Florida (-18) and LSU (-17).
Texas A&M carded just three birdies on the front nine, but roared to life with 20 birdies and an eagle on the final nine holes. For the second straight day, the Aggies closed out the round with four birdies and an eagle on 18th hole.
Leading the way for the Aggies was senior Brandon Smith, who matched the school record for low round with a career-best, 8-under 63. A PING All-American in 2018, Smith matched the school record originally set by Jordan Russell at the 2010 Topy Cup of Japan and matched by Cameron Peck, Ben Crancer, Chandler Phillips and William Paysse. Smith’s previous best round was a 65 at the 2019 NCAA Pullman Regional. After two rounds, Smith stands in third place at 11-under par (68-63=131), which ranks in a second-place tie for low 36 hole total in school history.
Also under par for a second straight day was sophomore William Paysse, who posted a 3-under 68. After two rounds, Paysse stands in a tie for fourth at 10-under (64-68=132). His 36 hole total ranks No. 4 in school history.
Also contributing scores for the Aggies in the second round were junior Sam Bennett (71, E) and senior Dan Erickson (72, +1). On the player leaderboard, Bennett was tied for 30th at 1-under, senior Walker Lee was tied for 45th at 1-over and Erickson was tied for 55th at 3-over.
The Aggies will be paired with Vanderbilt and Georgia and tee off from the first hole between 10:10 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. CT in Tuesday’s final round.
Head Coach Brian Kortan said:
(On the team rallying on the back nine to move into second place) “Our guys had a great back nine, which allowed us to get back into the tournament and put a little pressure on Vanderbilt. We were down the leaderboard after the first nine holes, but we got some momentum and were able to get back into the mix. It put us in a position where we have chance to chase down Vanderbilt. That will be a tall order, especially on their home course, but our opportunity is in front of us.”
(On Brandon Smith’s play) “Brandon simply put us on his back and pulled us along. We didn’t have much going early but Brandon kept us going until the rest of team starting putting things together. He’s an All-American. He’s had great success, so it doesn’t surprise me to see him score well. I guess you never expect a 63, but he got it going pretty good today. He really had his putter going good and he was putting himself in a good spot off the tee.”
Aggies on the Leaderboard (Rd. 2):
|Place||Team/Player||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Total|
|2||Texas A&M||272||274||546 (-22)|
|3||Brandon Smith||68||63||131 (-11)|
|T4||William Paysse||64||68||132 (-10)|
|T30||Sam Bennett||70||71||141 (-1)|
|T45||Walker Lee||70||73||143 (+1)|
|T55||Dan Erickson||73||72||145 (+3)|
|Pl.||Team||Scores (To Par)|
|1||Vanderbilt||271 265=536 -32|
|2||Texas A&M||272 274=546 -22|
|3||Georgia||275 272=547 -21|
|4||Florida||277 273=550 -18|
|5||LSU||276 275=551 -17|
|T6||Arkansas||272 280=552 -16|
|T6||Tennessee||276 276=552 -16|
|T8||Ole Miss||276 281=557 -11|
|T8||Alabama||279 278=557 -11|
|10||South Carolina||280 281=561 -7|
|11||Missouri||284 278=562 -6|
|12||Auburn||278 287=565 -3|
|13||Kentucky||285 281=566 -2|
|14||Mississippi State||286 290=576 +8|
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Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics