COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The No. 9 Texas A&M men’s golf team and junior Daniel Rodrigues finished off record-setting victories at the Blessings Collegiate Invitational on Wednesday at the University of Arkansas’ Blessings Golf Club.
The Aggies overpowered the field with a 20-stroke margin of victory, which was the largest in the history of the tournament by seven shots. Head coach Brian Kortan’s team finished the Blessings at 11-under with a 54-hole total of 853, which was the second-lowest in the tournament’s history. The victory was the second of the year for the Aggies, who also grabbed the win at the season-opening Badger Invitational.
“The guys did a great job all week,” Kortan said. “Blessings is a challenging golf course every step of the way. We made our mistakes, but the guys hung in there. They didn’t get down. They stayed positive and kept fighting so even when we made mistakes, we didn’t compound them. I’m really happy with the way they competed this week for sure.”
Junior Daniel Rodrigues, from Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, tallied his first career collegiate victory with an 11-under par score of 205, which matched the low 54-hole total originally set by Arkansas’ Luke Long in 2021. Rodrigues fired rounds of 69-66-70 to take a two-stroke win over runner-up Sarut Vongchaisit of Ole Miss.
“Dani has been playing a lot of great golf this fall so it’s been trending this way for a while,” Kortan said. “I’m extremely proud of him and what he accomplished, but I’m not surprised. He’s really a good player and we know he’s a good player, his teammates know he’s good. It’s nice for him to get his first win at such a challenging course. It was a joy to watch.”
Joining Rodrigues in the top five was fifth-year senior Sam Bennett, who rallied with under-par second and third rounds to finish fourth at 3-under (75-68-70=213). Right behind Rodrigues and Bennett were teammates Phichaksn Maichon, William Paysse and Jaime Montojo, who all finished inside the top 20. Maichon tied for 13th at 3-over, Paysse tied for 15th at 4-over and Montojo tied for 18th at 5-over.
“Sammy (Bennett) got back to playing some pretty good golf the last couple of days, and we got good stuff from everybody. P (Maichon) had a good round in there. Willie (Paysse) was strong, solid the whole way. Jaime (Montojo) had his first test as college golfer playing at a challenging venue. It was a great week for us and something we can for sure build on.”