BRYAN – Led by a trio of players who carded a two-under 68 Tuesday, No. 2 Texas A&M remains atop the leaderboard at the NCAA Men's Golf Bryan Regional after 36 holes of competition.
The regional will conclude with a final round of 18 holes on Wednesday before the top five schools and highest-placing individual on a non-advancing team earn their ticket to the NCAA Championships which take place May 25-30 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.
"Anytime you've got two guys tied for the lead, you're doing alright," Texas A&M head coach J.T. Higgins said. "You throw Paysse's round on top of that and you've got a pretty great day. Obviously, we shot the same score [as yesterday] and the difference is we didn't finish as well today and not all five guys were right around par. Tomorrow we'll get everybody going and I think we've got a great chance to win it."
The Aggies (279-279=558, -18) own a one-stroke lead in the team standings over Clemson (-17) which posted the low team round of the day at 276. Baylor (-6), UCLA (E) and Ole Miss (+3) round out the top five schools on the leaderboard with South Carolina (+11) and Kentucky (+13) needing to make up ground on the tournament's final day to advance.
The player standings continue to have a pair of Aggies on top as junior Chandler Phillips (68-68=136, -8) and sophomore Brandon Smith (68-68=136, -8) each carded their second consecutive round of 68 to give them a tournament-leading score of eight-under par. The pair combined for just three bogies on Tuesday and will enter the event's final 18 holes with a one-shot advantage over four players tied at seven-under par.
Senior Andrew Paysse (72-68=140, -4) enjoyed a strong second round outing for the Maroon & White, carding five birdies as well as an eagle on the par-five, 551-yard 15th hole to climb 11 spots on the leaderboard into a tie for eighth place.
"We feel great," Higgins said of his squad going into the final round. "We're playing really good and those three guys have been making birdies all week. I think we'll be really tough to beat if we've got four guys around par or better tomorrow."
Rounding out the A&M lineup were sophomore Dan Erickson (71-75=146, +2) and freshman Walker Lee (73-75=148, +4) in 25th and 38th places, respectively.