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Aggies Lead Big 12 Championship

April 27, 2012
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
TRINITY, Texas-The Texas A&M men's golf team holds a two-shot lead on the rest of the field after the first day of the Big 12 Championship at Whispering Pines Golf Club.

The 13th-ranked Aggies used the day's only sub-par round-a 2-under 286 in the second round-to leapfrog Oklahoma and take the lead. For the tournament, A&M is at 6-over 582 (296-286) and leads the second-place Sooners (584, +8) by two shots heading into the third of four rounds, which gets underway Saturday morning.

Texas A&M has a strong presence at the top of the leaderboard with all five players in the top 20, headlined by Johannes Veerman. Appearing in his first career Big 12 Championship as a late replacement for an injured Cameron Peck, the sophomore is in second place and one shot out of the lead after carding a 2-under 142 (72-70) on the day.

"We asked him to fill in for an All-American today and he played like one," head coach J.T. Higgins said. "He was patient and disciplined, was unbelievably competitive and looked like the best player on golf course today. I could not have asked for more out of him and I am so pleased with how he did. All the guys rallied around him and it was a great team effort led by him."

Also for the Aggies, true freshman Ty Dunlap is two strokes back in fifth with an even-par 144 (73-71), while senior All-American Jordan Russell is in ninth at 2-over 146 (73-73). Senior Geoff Shaw (79-72=151) and redshirt freshman Greg Yates (78-73=151) are tied for 19th at 7-over par.

In the team race, Texas Tech (+12) is in third place, followed by No. 1 Texas (+18), Baylor (+25), Iowa State (+30), Kansas State (+35), Oklahoma State (+36), Missouri (+57) and Kansas (+51).

"In the first round we played okay but we weren't really satisfied," Higgins said. "We had to count a 78 and anytime you have to do that you don't think you'll have a chance to be in the lead. We weren't, but I was happy we were still close enough. I knew some of the guys would come back strong in the afternoon and they did. Everyone got shots back and really finished strong."

A&M will be paired with OU in Saturday's third round and will tee off at approximately 9:03 a.m. from the first hole. Live scoring will be available on Sunday's final 18 holes are scheduled to get underway at about 8 a.m.

"We haven't done anything yet," Higgins said. "I'd rather be leading than trying to chase, but at the same time there's so much golf left to play. We have to continue doing what we've done so far, attack the golf course when we have opportunities and play smart in the other places. And if we can do that we will have a great chance to win going into the final round."

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