COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M’s Sam Bennett fired a 2-under par 70 to surge into the lead at the Aggie Invitational on Saturday at Traditions Club.
Bennett, a junior from Madisonville, will go into Sunday’s final round with a three-stroke lead as he attempts to win his third individual crown of 2021. At 6-under for the tournament, Bennett holds the three-shot advantage over first-round leader Pierceson Coody of Texas and Alexander Frances of Houston.
Bennett was on fire early with three birdies and an eagle in his first six holes as he quickly got to 5-under, but lost some ground with a double bogey and two bogeys, his first of the tournament, on his final 10 holes.
As a team, the Aggies posted a 4-over 290 as they kept pace with No. 5 Texas. The Aggies stand in third place at 6-over, seven strokes behind Texas and four behind No. 1 Oklahoma. Rounding out the top 10 teams were Baylor (+9), No. 25 Texas Tech (+10), Louisville (+10), Houston (+22), North Texas (+22), Nebraska (+23) and Kansas (+25).
The Aggies received a crucial even par round of 72 from sophomore William Paysse and a 1-over 73 from senior Dan Erickson. Senior Walker Lee and freshman Daniel Rodrigues contributed 5-over scores of 77. Three Aggies were among the top 25 on the leaderboard with Bennett at the top spot, Rodrigues in a tie for 16th (+3) and Payssee tied for 22nd (+4).
The Aggies will be in the tournament’s final group on Sunday with Texas and Oklahoma and the trio of competitors will begin teeing off from the first hole at 9:20 a.m. Admission is free.
Head Coach Brian Kortan said:
On Sam Bennett “He got off to a great start and gave the entire some momentum early in the round. He leaked a little oil late in the road and gave back a few shots, but overall it was solid round for Sammy. He’s playing great and has put himself in a great position heading into Sunday.”
On the team’s round “We definitely didn’t finish well. We gave up six shots in the final three holes, so the guys left the course with a sour taste in their mouths. We still have a chance to win a golf tournament tomorrow, but it will take a big effort. We’re competing against some really good teams, so it won’t be easy but I’m pleased that we are in position. These are prideful guys and I know they will give everything they have in the final round.”