ATLANTA — Led by three players who carded rounds under par on Wednesday at Capital City Club, Texas A&M climbed into eighth place at the 2013 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship.
“I thought the guys did a great job today,” Texas A&M head coach J.T. Higgins said. “They were really focused and committed to the game plan and did a great job of executing all day. They put themselves in great position to score and really avoided any costly mistakes.”
Playing for a second straight day on the Crabapple Course, the Aggies (285-275=560, E) began the round in a tie for 12th but improved their score by 10 shots to ascend the leaderboard. With the tournament’s field set to be cut down to eight teams after Thursday’s third round, A&M has positioned itself to advance to match play for this first time since 2009 when it captured the National Championship.
Tournament-host Georgia Tech (274-274=548, -12) sits atop the leaderboard after 36 holes, just a shot ahead of top-ranked California (277-272=549, -11). Texas (279-271=550, -10), Alabama (275-276=551, -9), Arkansas (286-271=557, -3), Illinois (276-281=557, -3), Arizona State (270-288=558, -2) and A&M round out the top eight teams in the standings.
UCF (287-274=561, +1), meanwhile, sits just one-shot back of the Aggies on the 30-team leaderboard.
“It would be huge for us to advance to match play, make the elite eight and still be playing on the weekend for a national championship,” Higgins added. “That’s what we’ve worked so hard for all year. Once again our guys have put ourselves in position to achieve our goals and that’s really all you can ask for. We’re in perfect shape and we always try to have the best final round of anybody. If we can do that we’ll be playing on Friday and that’s exciting. All of our guys are playing well and we’ll be a tough out if we make it to match play.”
While Evans made the big jump from 113th place to hold a share of 58th at the end of the day, Dunlap continues to stand out as A&M’s highest-placing individual and will enter the third round in a tie for 16th overall.
“Ty played great today,” Higgins said of Dunlap. “He really had it going and is playing with a lot of confidence. He’s hitting the ball fantastic and he’s putting great. He’s kind of putting it all together.”
Sophomore Greg Yates (73-72=145, +5), meanwhile, ended the round in a tie for 97th place.
“I think the biggest thing going into tomorrow’s round is our confidence,” Higgins said. “They really feel good about the way they are playing and are confident in the game plan as well as their ability. We’ve been working all year for this and have gotten better as the year has gone on. Our guys really want it, I think they wish they could go out there and play tonight. They’re chomping at the bit for tomorrow.”
During Thursday’s round the Aggies will be paired alongside golfers from Arizona State and UCF and are slated to beginning teeing off at 11:50 a.m. (CT).
Live results can be found at www.ncaa.com/content/di-mens-golf-leaderboard and NCAA.com will have a live stream of the action at Capital City Club from 2-7 p.m. (CT).