FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The No. 9 Texas A&M men’s golf team was tied for third place after the first round of the Blessings Collegiate Invitational on Monday at the University of Arkansas’ Blessings Golf Club.
Paced by junior Daniel Rodrigues’ 3-under 69, the Aggies were 4-over as a team and trailed Arkansas (-4) and Kansas (-2) after 18 holes of golf. Rounding out the standings were Clemson (+4), Louisville (+7), Ole Miss (+9), UNLV (+9), Mississippi State (+12), UCLA (+16), UCF (+19) and California (+21).
“Overall I was proud of the way we competed and scored,” Aggie head coach Brian Kortan said. “We hung in there and did some good things on the back nine. We’re in good shape, but we have to play good golf and play clean, and we didn’t do a great job of that. We started okay but in the middle we had some three-putts and some bad wedge shots. If we play clean, we’ll be in it after tomorrow and we’ll keep fighting.”
Rodrigues, from Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, offset a single bogey with four birdies and stands alone in fourth place on the individual leaderboard. The Aggies also counted scores from senior William Paysse (1-over 73, t15th), fifth-year senior Sam Bennett (3-over 75, t26th) and freshman Jaime Montojo (3-over 75, t26th).
The Aggies will tee off from the 1st hole beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday. The Blessings Collegiate Invitational, which features all five players from each school playing in the same groups, will be televised from 3:30-6:30 p.m. on the Golf Channel for all three rounds.
The No. 2 Texas A&M women’s golf team, led by Adela Cernousek’s 1-under 71 first round, finished day one in fourth place.
“Adela’s [Cernousek] round kept us in the ballgame today,” head coach Gerrod Chadwell said. “She played beautifully on the back nine and made some really great putts. Her round has us within striking distance. Overall, we didn’t putt it very well as a group. We addressed the mistakes and made the adjustments for tomorrow. We need to get off to a great start in the morning and pile onto that to build some momentum for the rest of the tournament.”
The Aggies shot 13-over 301 in the first 18, placing them fourth in the team standings behind No. 11 Mississippi State (-1), No. 7 Ole Miss (+8) and No. 15 Arkansas (+11).
Cernousek started the day by bogeying three of her first four holes. However, the sophomore surged on the back nine, knocking down four birdies on Nos. 10, 14, 16 and 17. The Antibes, France, native finished the final nine of the first round 4-under 32 which helped her leap into a tie for second. Cernousek’s round was highlighted by a 20-foot birdie putt on 17 that dropped her under par heading into round two.
Jennie Park turned in a team-high 14 pars, on a golf course where pars come at a premium. The senior finished the day with a share of 10th and shot 2-over 74. Hailee Cooper and Blanca Fernández García-Poggio both shot 6-over 78 and tied for 33rd. Zoe Slaughter rounded out the lineup with a 10-over 82 and tied for 44th.