Men's Golf Takes Lead at Aggie Invitational
BRYAN, Texas – After finishing the first round five shots off the pace with an opening score of 6-under par 282 in the morning, fifth-ranked LSU took a one shot lead in the second round with a 5-under par 283 in the afternoon for a 36-hole score of 11-under 565 on Saturday at the Aggie Invitational being held at Traditions Golf Club.
The Tigers put themselves in a strong position to compete for a fourth team title this season as they finished the day in a two-team race with second-ranked Baylor in second place at 10-under par 566.
Tournament host and 19th-ranked Texas A&M followed 12 shots back in third place with a two-round total of 1-over par 577, while defending tournament champion and fourth-ranked Oklahoma State capped their day in fourth place at 4-over 580 and 16th-ranked Texas and 32nd-ranked North Carolina tied for fifth place at 5-over 581 through 36 holes.
Led by seniors Brandon Pierce and Eric Ricard and sophomore Sam Burns, the Tigers will look to add to their trophy case in the 2016-17 season after already capturing team championships at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate and David Toms Intercollegiate in the fall and The Prestige at PGA West to kick off their spring season. They are also poised to contend for their second title at the Aggie Invitational after also winning in 2014.
Top 10 Tigers
Ricard fired the team’s low round of the day with a bogey-free 5-under 67 in the morning to head to the second round in a three-way tie for the lead with the Baylor duo of Cooper Dossey and Garrett May.
Teeing off on the 10th tee with the rest of his teammates, Ricard turned at 2-under par on the round thanks to consecutive birdies at the par-three 16th and par-four 17th holes, and wrapped up a round of 67 with three-straight birdies at the par-four sixth, par-three seventh and par-five eighth holes. He followed with a 3-over 75 in the afternoon to tie for eighth place at 2-under par 142 for the day.
Burns and Pierce tied one another for sixth place on the leaderboard after posting matching scores of 3-under 141 for 36 holes. Burns followed his 1-under 71 in the morning with a 2-under 70 in the afternoon to follow three shots off the lead, while Pierce finished with scores of even-par 72 in the first round and 3-under 69 in the second round.
LSU’s trio was among 14 players in the field of 75 golfers to break par on the day as everyone ended the afternoon chasing Michigan’s 36-hole leader Kyle Mueller, who posted a 6-under 138 for a one-shot lead.
Sophomore Luis Gagne was just three shots outside the Top 10 of the leaderboard at the end of Saturday’s play as he settled into a tie for 16th place with a two-round total of 1-over par 145. Gagne, who owns five top-20 finishes in a row and eight in his 10 starts this season, carded rounds of even-par 72 and 1-over 73 on the opening day of the Aggie Invitational.
Barbaree Bounces Back
While teeing off on the back nine, freshman Philip Barbaree struggled to a 6-over 78 in his opening round at the Aggie Invitational as his scorecard featured a quadruple bogey 8 on the par-four 13th hole before a run of four-straight bogeys on Nos. 5-8. But he bounced back in a big way in the afternoon while carding three birdies and two bogeys for a counting score of 1-under 71.
That effort moved Barbaree 21 spots up the leaderboard from the first round to the second as he finished the day in a tie for 31st place overall with a 36-hole score of 5-over par 149 at the par-72 Traditions Golf Club.
The Final Round
The Tigers will tee off alongside second-place Baylor and third-place Texas A&M in Sunday’s final round as they start play in the final wave off the front nine beginning at 8:40 a.m. CT. Fans can follow the Tigers in action as Golfstat provides live scoring of the final round at http://www.golfstat.com. This year’s Aggie Invitational team and individual champions will be crowned at the conclusion of play around 2:30 p.m.
AGGIE INVITATIONAL – SECOND ROUND RESULTS
TEAM SCORES (Par 576)
1. LSU 282-283 – 565 -11; 2. Baylor 278-288 – 566 -10; 3. Texas A&M 288-289 – 577 +1; 4. Oklahoma State 299-281 – 580 +4; T5. North Carolina 298-283 – 581 +5; T5. Texas 291-290 – 581 +5; 7. Kent State 298-291 – 589 +13; 8. Texas Tech 296-296 – 592 +16; T9. Michigan 301-293 – 594 +18; T9. Arkansas 302-292 – 594 +18; 11. North Texas 305-290 – 595 +19; 12. Texas-San Antonio 307-306 – 613 +37; 13. New Mexico State 311-306 – 617 +41.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 144)
1. Kyle Mueller, Michigan, 69-69 – 138 -6; T2. Garrett May, Baylor, 67-72 – 139 -5; T2. Cooper Dossey, Baylor, 67-72 – 139 -5; T2. Cameron Champ, Texas A&M, 69-70 – 139 -5; T2. Zachary Olsen, Oklahoma State, 70-69 – 139 -5; T6. Sam Burns, LSU, 71-70 – 141 -3; T6. Brandon Pierce, LSU, 72-69 – 141 -3; T8. Eric Ricard, LSU, 67-75 – 142 -2; T8. Andrew Hudson, North Texas, 69-73 – 142 -2; T8. Luis Garza, Arkansas, 72-70 – 142 -2; T8. Matthew Perrine, Baylor, 72-70 – 142 -2; T8. Viktor Hovland, Oklahoma State, 73-69 – 142 -2; T8. Scottie Scheffler, Texas, 71-71 – 142 -2.