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Aggies Aim for NCAA Finals Berth

May 15, 2012
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
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(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
BOWLING GREEN, Ky.--The Big 12 Champion Texas A&M golf team looks to earn its fifth straight trip to the NCAA Championships when the Aggies compete in the NCAA Bowling Green Regional. Action takes place Thursday through Saturday at The Club at Olde Stone (par 72/7,248 yards), with one round scheduled for each day.

Texas A&M AGGIES

at 2012 NCAA Bowling Green Regional

Thursday, May 17 - Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Club at Olde Stone (par 72/7,248 yards)  •  Bowling Green, Kentucky

Teeing Off

  The Aggies are the No. 3 seed for the tournament ... the top five teams earn a trip to nationals.

  • A&M has finished fifth or better in 11 of 12 tournaments this season, posting victories at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate and the Big 12 Championship ... the Aggies have finished second in three other tournaments.
  • The Aggies have posted a win-loss record of 136-29 (.824) this year and a 92-19 (.829) mark this spring ... A&M's season stroke average of 287.97 ranks third on the school's all-time charts.
  • Should the Aggies advance out of Bowling Green, they would earn their fifth consecutive and 28th all-time appearance at the NCAA Championships ... among all collegiate programs, only Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and USC have finished in the top 15 in each of the last four seasons.

Texas A&M Lineup

Name                          Ht.       Wt.      Cl.       Avg.    Rds.     Par/-    Top 10s           Lo 18/54

Ty Dunlap                  6-1       180      Fr.        73.29   31        16        3          68 / 214

Jordan Russell                        6-0       155      Sr.        72.60   40        15        5          66 / 205

Geoff Shaw                 5-8       145      Sr.        73.26   34        13        4          65 / 205

Johannes Veerman     6-3       185      So.       72.82   22        12        4          69 / 209

Greg Yates                  5-11     180      RFr.     72.55   31        15        4          66 / 204

Format

  • The tournament will be 54 holes of stroke play (18 each day).
  • The top five teams will advance to the NCAA Championship, scheduled for May 29-June 3 at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California ... the top individual not on the five advancing teams will also earn a trip to nationals.

The Field (14 teams)

  • UCLA (1 seed), Arkansas (2), Texas A&M (3), Clemson (4), North Texas (5), Chattanooga (6), Memphis (7), Virginia Tech (8), Northwestern (9), Iowa State (10), Colorado State (11), Jacksonville State (12), Penn (13) and Alabama State (14).
  • Individuals include Jace Long (Missouri), Justin Dorward (Louisville), Adam Hofmann (Vanderbilt), Emilio Cuartero (Missouri) and Anthony Bradley (Austin Peay).

Pairings

  • Texas A&M will be paired with UCLA and Arkansas for Thursday's first round (8 a.m. CT, first hole).

Rankings

  • Golfweek/Sagarin (May 7): UCLA (4), Arkansas (10), Texas A&M (11), Clemson (20).
  • GolfWorld/Nike Golf Coaches' Poll (April 25): UCLA (4), Arkansas (6), Texas A&M (15), Clemson (19), North Texas (RV).
  • Golfstat Cup (May 9): UCLA (3), Arkasnas (11), Texas A&M (15), Clemson (21).

Aggies in NCAA Regional Play

  • Texas A&M is making its 22nd apperance in the NCAA Regional round, which was instituted in 1989, and 39th NCAA appearance overall.
  • The Aggies are playing in their 10th straight NCAA Regional, a school record.
  • A&M has earned a berth in the NCAA Championship in four straight seasons and seven of the last eight years overall.
  • The Aggies have one regional championship under their belt, coming in the 1996 Central Regional in Ann Arbor, Michigan ... A&M has finished second in each of the last two seasons.

The Club at Olde Stone (par 72/7,248 yards)

  • The Club at Olde Stone, designed by internationally acclaimed golf architect Arthur Hills, opened in 2006 ... it features a combination of hills, flatlands, trees, grassland and water ... there is a difference of 160 vertical feet between the highest and lowest points on the course and water hazards come into play on five holes ... fairways and greens are planted in Bentgrass and approximately 50 grass-lined bunkers filled with fine white sand line the fairways and guard the greens.
  • The Club at Olde Stone is hosting NCAA action for the second time in its young history (2009 Regional) ... UCLA was the team champion at that event and is seeded atop this year's field as well.
  • J.T. Higgins on Olde Stone: "I think Olde Stone is going to be great for us. It's a very difficult golf course and it has some of the fastest greens you'll ever see. We've played a lot of greens like that this year so I think we're prepared for it. The field is strong and it has some teams from that part of the country that maybe are used to courses like that a little more than us. I feel confident though that if play like we have all spring we'll be in great shape."

Head Coach J.T. Higgins

  • J.T. Higgins (Eastern Oregon State '89) is in his 11th season at the helm of the Texas A&M golf program ... Higgins has led the Aggies to a school-record 10 straight NCAA tournaments and guided the program to its first national championship three seasons ago (2009).
  • Higgins was named the BIg 12's Coach of the Year after guiding the Aggies to their first conference title since 1987 ... it was the second Coach of the Year honor of his career (2001 Mountain West COY while at New Mexico).
  • Texas A&M golfers have earned 10 All-America honors under his watch ... two are currently playing on the PGA Tour, Bobby Gates and Martin Piller.

2011-12 Season Awards

  • Big 12 Coach of the Year: J.T. Higgins
  • GCAA National Assistant Coach of the Year: Jim Anderson
  • All-Big 12 Team: Cameron Peck, Jordan Russell
  • Big 12 All-Tournament Team: Ty Dunlap, Johannes Veerman, Jordan Russell
  • Big 12 Golfer of the Month: Cameron Peck (November)

AGGIE LINEUP: A CLOSER LOOK

 

Ty Dunlap (Fr., Westlake, Texas)

  • Strong freshman campaign earned him a spot on the Aggies' postseason roster ... named A&M's Newcomer of the Year in a vote by his teammates ... appeared in 10 tournaments, posting a 73.29 scoring average ... posted five top-20, three top-10 and a pair of top-5 finishes ... 26 of 31 rounds (84 percent) counted toward team total ... ranked second on the team with 16 par or better rounds ... broke 70 three times, with a season low of 68 ... named to the All-Tournament team after finishing second at the Big 12 Championship (287, -1) ... as the last on the course, drained a two-footer on the final hole to give the Aggies their first conference title since 1987 ... also placed second at the prestigious Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters (214, -2) in March in Las Vegas ... opened collegiate career with a ninth-place showing at the Lone Star Invitational (217, +1) in October in San Antonio ... placed 11th at the Aggie Invitational (224, +8) in April ... opened the spring with an 18th-place showing at the John Burns Intercollegiate (216, E) in Hawai'i ... recorded two other top-25 finishes, at the Hootie at Bulls Bay (222, +6) and The Woodlands All-American Intercollegiate (217, +1) ... named a Texas A&M Athletics Scholar Award winner.

Jordan Russell (Sr., College Station, Texas)

  • An All-Big 12 selection ... the team's Robert Ellis Coach's Award winner for 2012 ... competed in all 13 tournaments, ranking third on the team with a 72.60 stroke average ... led the squad with nine top-20 finishes ... also earned five top-10 and three top-5 showings ... ended tournaments below par four times ... 33 of 37 rounds (89 percent) counted toward team total ... named to the Big 12 All-Tournament team after finishing ninth at the Big 12 Championship in April at Whispering Pines (294, +6) ... best individual showing was a second-place finish at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate in Dallas (205, -8), leading the Aggies to the team title ... strong showing in team's final fall event, shooting a 2-over 218 to place 12th at the Amelia Island Intercollegiate in Florida ... tied for fifth with a 2-nder 211 at the prestigious Western Refining Collegiate All-American in El Paso ... was the team's top individual at the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate in February in California, turning in a 3-under 213 en route to an eighth-place finish ... finished 20th at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate (219, +6) in March in Austin ... topped A&M's team with a fifth-place showing (214, -2) at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate in March in South Carolina ... shot a 2-under 214 en route to a 14th-place finish at The Woodlands All-American Intercollegiate ... low round on the year was 66, in the first round of the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate ... totaled eight sub-70 rounds on the year ... named a Texas A&M Athletics Scholar Award winner.

Geoff Shaw (Sr., Edmond, Okla.)

  • Named A&M's Most Improved Player in a vote by his teammates ... closed the spring with five straight top-15 finishes ... posted a 73.26 scoring average and totaled 13 par-or-better rounds, nearly doubling his career total of 15 entering the season ... carded six top-20 and four top-10 finishes ... finished tournaments below par three times ... 21 of 25 rounds (84 percent) counted toward team total ... nailed down his first career victory at The Woodlands All-American Intercollegiate in April, shooting an 11-under 205 ... score ranks as one of the top 10 individual tournament showings in school history ... tied for seventh following a 1-under 215 at the fall's final tournament, the Amelia Island Intercollegiate in Florida ... finished sixth at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate (211, -2) in March in Austin ... 2-over 218 at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate in South Carolina good for a 12th-place showing ... A&M's top finisher at the Aggie Invitational in April, shooting a 5-over 221 to end the tournament in seventh place ... tied for 14th at the Big 12 Championship in April at Whispering Pines, carding a 9-over 297.

Johannes Veerman (So., Sugar Land, Texas)

  • Appeared in seven tournaments, one as an individual ... recorded four top-10 finishes ... scoring average of 72.82 was fourth best on the team ... 12 of 22 rounds (55 percent) were par or better ... 15 of 19 rounds (79 percent) counted toward team total ... shared medalist honors at the prestigious U.S. Collegiate Championship in the fall outside Atlanta, firing a 6-under 210 at Hawk's Ridge to top the field ... victory was the first of his young career ... named to the Big 12 All-Tournament team after helping lead the Aggies to their first conference crown since 1987 ... shot a 2-over 290 to place sixth overall ... turned in a seventh-place showing in his first event at A&M, carding an even-par 216 at the Lone Star Invitational in San Antonio in October ... fired a 4-under 209 at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate in October in Dallas, finishing ninth to help the Aggies to the team title ... finished 26th at the fall season-ending Amelia Island Intercollegiate (222, +6) in Florida ... season-low round was 69, recorded three times.

Greg Yates (RFr., Mansfield, Texas)

  • Participated in 10 tournaments, two as an individual ... posted the team's second-best scoring average at 72.55 ... 15 par or better rounds, third best on squad ... finished in the top 25 in all but two tournaments ... turned in a total score of par or below six times ... recorded six top-20, four top-10 and two top-5 finishes ... 17 of 25 rounds (68 percent) counted toward team total ... won the HBU Men's Intercollegiate (204, -9) as an individual in his first collegiate event in October ... tied for 13th at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate (211, -2) in October in Dallas, his first team event ... fired a 4-under 212 to place fifth at the Amelia Island Intercollegiate in Florida in November ... opened the spring with an eighth-place showing at the John Burns Intercollegiate (213, -3) in Hawai'i ... tied for 10th at The Woodlands All-American Intercollegiate (213, -3) in April while playing as an individual ... 20th-place showings at both the Aggie Invitational (228, +12) and the Big 12 Championship (301, +13) ... even-par 216 earned him a 21st place finish in February at the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate, held in California ... totaled six sub-70 rounds ... season (and career) low round was 66 ... was the team's best driver, hitting fairways 75.9 percent of the time ... also topped the squad with a 68.3 green in regulation percentage.

2011 NCAA TOURNAMENT RECAPS

NCAA Arizona Regional

 

TUCSON, Ariz. (May 21, 2011)-Texas A&M earned its fourth straight trip to nationals on Saturday with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Arizona Regional at Omni Tucson National Golf Resort.

            The Aggies shot a 7-under 277 and tied a school record by finishing the regional with a 12-under 840 (281-282-277). A&M's Saturday round matched team champion San Diego State for the best round of any team on the weekend. With the runner-up finish, the Aggies secured the 27th trip to the NCAA Championships in school history, and seventh in the last eight years under head coach J.T. Higgins.

            "I'm obviously pretty happy," Higgins said. "I thought this would be a tough regional to advance out of because the golf course brought all the teams into the race. It was tough to separate from everyone else. At times it was frustrating, but I thought the guys did a great job of handling it. It was a great effort and I'm really proud of them for getting through."

            The second-seeded Aztecs won the regional with a 19-under 833, seven shots better than the field. Cal (-9) finished third, while Pepperdine (-8) and host Arizona (-8) snatched up the final two qualifying spots. Washington (-7) just missed a trip to nationals, placing sixth and one shot out of qualifying, followed by Oregon State (-3), UC Davis (+1), Texas Tech (+6), Liberty (+8), Purdue (+21), UT Arlington (+24), Army (+30) and Loyola-Maryland (+51).

            Sophomore Cameron Peck was A&M's top finisher on the weekend, placing third with a 6-under 207 (70-67-70). His score was the second lowest by strokes in school history in the regional round and one shot shy of the school record against par.

            Junior Jordan Russell finished 23rd with an even-par 213 (69-76-68), while senior Nacho Elvira finished 34th with a 3-over 216 (73-71-72). Senior Conrad Shindler put together his second straight strong round, firing a team-best 67 on Saturday en route to a 3-over finish as well (81-68-67=216). Senior John Hurley placed 53rd with a 7-over 220 (69-76-75).

NCAA Championship

 

STILLWATER, Okla. (June 2, 2011)-Texas A&M sophomore Cameron Peck set a school record with a third-place finish, but the Aggies fell one spot shy of moving on to match play on Thursday at the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships at Karsten Creek.

            Peck (Olympia, Wash.) fired a 1-under 215 (68-74-73) for the week to finish higher than any Aggie has before at the event. He placed four shots back of the medalist, John Peterson of LSU (-5), in a five-way tie for third.

            As a team, A&M missed out on advancing to the quarterfinals by the slimmest of margins--one stroke--finishing ninth with a 26-over 890 (289-301-300). Moving on to match play were UCLA (+8), Georgia Tech (+11), Oklahoma State (+15), Illinois (+15), Georgia (+20), Ohio State (+23), Augusta State (+24) and Duke (+25). The Aggies, however, will end their season with their second top-10 finish in three seasons and eighth overall in program history.

            "Golf's just the cruelest game," head coach J.T. Higgins said. "You hit 900 shots, and it comes down to one. Every guy on our team can count 10 places where they could have shaved a shot. It's just heartbreaking when it doesn't go your way. With that said, this is just greatest group of guys I ever had the honor of coaching. They should hold their heads high. They were champions, and we just came out a shot short. It's very hard to swallow. They had a fantastic year, they did everything right and they represented our school fantastically."

            Individually, senior Nacho Elvira went 1-over on the day and finished the week in 32nd place with a 6-over 222 (72-77-73). Junior Jordan Russell carded a 9-over 225 (73-77-75) to finish tied for 56th, senior Conrad Shindler tied for 88th with a 13-over 229 (73-77-79), while senior John Hurley finished in a tie for 135th (76-81-84=241).

            Two program records fell as the Aggies closed out the year this week. Russell wrapped the season with a 71.59 stroke average--the lowest in program history--while the 2010-11 team's stroke average of 287.12 is the lowest ever recorded by an Aggie squad.

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