Story by Evan Roberts, Texas A&M Athletics Communications
MADISON, Wisc. – The 17th-ranked Texas A&M men’s golf team won its season-opener at the Badger Invitational while William Paysse earned co-medalist honors Tuesday at the University Ridge Golf Course.
The Aggies, who entered the final round with a three-shot lead, carded a tournament-best 11-under 277 to finish at 20-under and defeated runner-up Wisconsin by 11 strokes. Illinois State placed third at 7-under while Nebraska (-5) and Purdue (-3) rounded out the top five.
The win marks the sixth for Texas A&M under third-year head coach Brian Kortan.
Paysse registered his second-career victory, shooting a 9-under 135. The Belton, Texas, native was 5-under in the final round. The senior was 1-under for the day at the turn before moving to 3-under with birdies on Nos. 10 and 12. Following a bogey on No. 13, he birdied Nos. 15 and 16 and sank a clutch 12-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to secure the tie for first.
Vishnu Sadagopan tallied his first-career top-10 finish, as the Pearland, Texas, native tied for seventh at 5-under. Michael Heidelbaugh matched his career-high finish as he tied for 12th at 4-under, shooting a 2-under 70 Tuesday.
Daniel Rodrigues climbed 21 spots on the leaderboard in the final round, shooting a 3-under 69 to finish tied for 16th at 2-under. Sam Bennett was even in the final round to tie for 34th at 1-over for the tournament.
The Aggies are back in action Sep. 25-27 at the SEC Match Play Championship at Old Overton Club in Birmingham, Alabama.
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Head Coach Brian Kortan Quotes
On winning the tournament…
“It’s awesome. It is always good to win. We got into the heat of it today and the guys handled themselves and came out on top. Michael, Vishnu and Daniel did a really nice job today. For Sam it is unusual for him not to play well and we all get used to him doing well, but he has carried us a lot. It speaks to what those guys mean to each other. They all patted him on the back and said ‘It was our turn this week’. It was good to see those guys step up and cover him when he didn’t have a great week.”
On William Paysse sinking a birdie on No. 18 to earn co-medalist honors…
“We talk about that kind of stuff. He did a great job. He stayed present and was able to calm himself down and hit some really good shots down the stretch to catch the leader. He played nicely yesterday and today, he kind of struggled at the start, but hung in there and really did a good job of making birdies on the back nine. To win a golf tournament is awesome.”
On the season outlook…
“I am excited for this group. We have some depth. We had three guys play really well in the individual event. We had a qualifier that was pretty tight and we come over here and win a tournament. We are going to have a competitive group and Coach (Matt) Fast and I are looking forward to watching these guys push each other and see where we can go. To start the year off with a win is a great start. We are excited to get back and start working towards how we can do this again.”