VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. – Texas A&M junior Daniel Rodrigues was just three strokes off the individual lead and the No. 17 Aggie men’s golf team was tied for fifth at 11-under par after the first two rounds of the SEC Match Play Preview on Sunday at the par 70, 7,204-yard Old Overton Club.
Rodrigues, from Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, finished the day at 7-under after firing rounds of 69 and 64 and stood in a four-way tie for fifth in the individual standings. Vanderbilt’s Gordon Sargent took the day one lead at 10-under with rounds of 66 and 64.
“Dani did a heck of a good job today,” Aggie head coach Brian Kortan said. “He bogeyed the last two holes of the first round and that left a bad taste in his mouth, and then he was bogey-free in the second round. That’s his low round as an Aggie and we needed it as a team.”
Also in the individual standings, Sam Bennett was tied for 16th at 4-under (68-68), sophomore Phichaksn Maichon was tied for 31st at 1-under (70-69), sophomore Vishnu Sadagopan was tied for 51st at 2-over (74-68) and freshman Jaime Montojo was tied for 63rd at 5-over (73-72).
“We played pretty well up and down the lineup, but we need to be cleaner,” Kortan added. “We were sloppy at times and you can’t afford to do that against a field like this one. The golf course gave up some good scores today. There was no wind and it was a perfect day. I’m sure there will be more good scores tomorrow because the SEC has some really strong teams and we’ll have to be ready to step up to the challenge.”
On the team leaderboard, the Aggies trail top-ranked Vanderbilt (-32), Auburn (-24), Tennessee (-23) and Georgia (-13) and were tied with LSU (-11). Rounding out the standings were Mississippi State (-10), Ole Miss (-10), Alabama (-9), Florida (-9), Arkansas (-3), Missouri (-3), South Carolina (+2) and Kentucky (+8).
The team will play 18 holes on Monday with match play coming on Tuesday. The top two finishers from stroke play will square off in the final groupings of the day, while the 12 other teams will square off in East vs. West Match Play format. For Monday’s round, the Aggies will begin play at 8:50 a.m. from the first tee and will be paired Georgia and LSU.