The Aggies, who need to finish in the top five to advance to the NCAA finals for the fifth consecutive season, carded a 7-over 295 on the afternoon and currently hold one of the coveted qualifying spots for nationals. They are one shot out of second place and 11 shots back of the leader, top-seeded UCLA.
"I thought for most part we played pretty well," head coach J.T. Higgins said. "We made some mistakes we don't typically make, and part of that credit has to go to the golf course. We had some trouble chipping which led to some tough par shots, and we just didn't do a very good job of taking our medicine when we hit bad shots. But overall we had a pretty good day."
The Bruins (284, -4) were the only team to come in under par on the afternoon and hold a 10-shot lead on the rest of the field. Chattanooga and Colorado State are tied for second at 6-over, while A&M (+7) is tied with Clemson, North Texas and Memphis in fourth. Virginia Tech (+9) is in eighth, followed by Northwestern (+13), Arkansas (+14), Iowa State (+17), Jacksonville State (+20), Penn (+25) and Alabama State (+31).
"To only be 7-over shows we didn't have too many terrible golf shots," Higgins said. "For the most part we hit the ball well and we putted well. We just have to go ahead and realize sometimes a 10- to 15-footer for par is a good shot, and the greens are so good that we're going to make our fair share of those. We'll make some adjustments and tomorrow we'll be just fine. Everyone is in good spirits and feels they played well, and I think the scores will reflect that the next two days. We just have to go play our game tomorrow and be a little smarter and things will work out well."
True freshman Ty Dunlap leads the Aggies individually, sitting in sixth place after carding a 1-under 71. Sophomore Johannes Veerman and senior Geoff Shaw are tied for 18th with a 2-over 74, while redshirt freshman Greg Yates and senior Jordan Russell are tied for 35th after firing a 4-over 76. Only six in the entire 75-player field broke par on Thursday.
Round two will get underway on Friday morning. Texas A&M is paired with Clemson and North Texas and will tee off from the first hole beginning at 8:20 a.m. (CT). Live scoring will be available on golfstat.com and aggieathletics.com.