NCAA men's golf: Texas A&M leads Pullman Regional but Oklahoma is one back

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NCAA men's golf: Texas A&M leads Pullman Regional but Oklahoma is one back

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NCAA men's golf: Texas A&M leads Pullman Regional but Oklahoma is one back

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When the winds are down on the Palouse, the scores will be good.

That was the case on Monday with 11 of the 14 teams competing in the NCAA Pullman Regional finishing in red numbers and the scoring average was 69.93.

Texas A&M, the No. 4 seed, posted an 11-under 269 on the par-70, 7,232-yard Palouse Ridge Golf Club layout to lead by one shot.

No. 1-seed Oklahoma (270) and No. 2-seed Georgia Tech (271) are right behind the Aggies. BYU (272) and Michigan State (273) round out the top five. The top five teams after 54 holes will advance to the NCAA championship at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark., later this month.

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“In the practice round the wind was howling and it was a challenging course, even par was a great score,” Texas A&M coach J.T. Higgins said. “Without the wind the course doesn’t have a lot of defense.”

Leading the way for the Aggies was Chandler Phillips with a 6-under 64 to share the first-round lead with Oklahoma’s Garrett Reband and BYU’s Carson Lundell. Phillips’ 64 was the lowest score for a Texas A&M golfer in an NCAA Regional round.

Finishing first this week is the same as finishing fifth, but many teams go in with the idea of winning.

“The best way to qualify is to win it and that was are mindset,” Higgins said.

In 2013, California blitzed the field with a 43-under total to win by 20 shots over TCU.

“Wind is a major defense of the course,” Georgia Tech coach Bruce Heppler said. “The greens are very firm but perfect for making putts. Certainly looks like a track meet if the weather stays nice.”

Oklahoma coach Ryan Hybl agrees: “Course is in very good shape. Overall, the wind did not blow which allows the course to be very gettable.”

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