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Bennett struggles in PGA Tour Debut, Palmer shoots Even in opening round of Texas Open

Bennett, from Madisonville, birdied the 591-yard par 5 to finish the round with an 8-over 80, but said he enjoyed the round especially with his brother, Marcus.

SAN ANTONIO — Texas A&M junior golfer Sam Bennett closed out his first round with his lone birdie of the day at the Valero Texas Open on Thursday at the TPC San Antonio.

Bennett, from Madisonville, Texas, birdied the 591-yard par 5 to finish the round with an 8-over 80, but said he enjoyed the round especially with his brother, Marcus, on the bag.

"Me and my brother Marcus, even though golf was terrible, we really enjoyed the walk today. I didn’t want to go ‘naked’ for my first Tour event so finishing off with a birdie was pretty cool. I got a little standing ovation after that one.”

Bennett returns to action at 2:10 p.m. on Friday from the 10th tee and will be paired with Roger Sloan and Rhein Gibson. Bennett earned the PGA Tour exemption to the VTO by winning the Cabo Collegiate, which was contested at the TPC San Antonio in early March. Since that victory at Cabo, Bennett has added another tournament title to his resume and been named Southeastern Conference Golfer of the Week twice.

“It was cool seeing my hometown friends, high school golf coach and all my teammates here on the first tee box,” Bennett said. “They have been so supportive. They’re just so proud of me and what I’ve been able to accomplish the past couple weeks. I was pretty nervous out there on the first tee box. It was something you can’t prepare for. It’s a different feeling that athletes dream of and what we work our whole life for. It’s why we do it to be in situations like this.”