A&M men’s golf team earns NCAA Championship berth


STANFORD, Calif. — The No. 19 Texas A&M’s men’s golf team earned a spot in next week’s NCAA Championship with a third-place finish at the Stanford Regional on Wednesday.

Leading the way for A&M was Phichaksn Maichon as he finished tied for second with his 11-under 199 three-day total. The Bangkok, Thailand, native tied Minnesota’s Ben Warian and Florida State’s Frederik Kjettrup.

Illinois’ Max Herendeen won with a 13-under 197.

“[Phichaksn] was great all week,” A&M head coach Brian Kortan said. “Makes one bogey in 54 holes. He grinded all three days and fought for every shot. It was a really good performance.”

The Aggies shot a 2-over 282 in the final round at the Stanford Golf Course and finished the tournament with a 19-under 821. No. 18 Illinois (-36) and No. 16 Florida State (-28) finished ahead of A&M.

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“We were very steady,” Kortan said. “We were unspectacular, but we were steady. At the end of the day, the score doesn’t look great to the naked eye. We kind of let our guard down a little bit the last two or three holes and gave up a few shots. But in general, it was a [heck of a] week.”

The other two NCAA berths went to SMU (-10) and host Stanford (-10). Fellow Southeastern Conference school No. 7 Ole Miss was one stroke below the cutoff.

Along with Maichon’s performance, Daniel Rodrigues tied for 10th. He shot a 1-over 71 on Wednesday and finished 5-under 205, while Jaime Montojo (2-under 208) finished in 18th. Michael Heidelbaugh (even par) and Aaron Pounds (9-over) finished in 28th and 59th, respectively.

“[Phichaksn] was incredible,” Kortan said. “[Daniel] was basically at par or better the entire week in every round. Jaime finished out his round incredibly strong for the second straight day. We got two great rounds out of [Michael] and Aaron contributed. That’s the recipe for a great team. Having five guys working their tails off and putting themselves in position to succeed.”

The NCAA Championship is set for May 24-29 at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California.

“Our sport has become incredibly competitive,” Kortan said. “I don’t take it for granted and I know the guys don’t either. They know it’s what they play for – a chance to win the whole thing – but you can’t even talk about it unless you get there. I’m thankful for their effort and their great play and we’ll be ready to compete in San Diego.”

This will be A&M’s third consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship.

“It’s a really competitive week,” Kortan said. “The stakes are the highest. The chance to move on and compete for a national championship. It’s a tough week and you can never take it for granted. You look at all the regionals and there are some teams that aren’t going to San Diego who clearly had great years, but didn’t have great weeks this week.”

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