College golfing notebook: Texas A&M’s Sam Bennett earns Tour start off Duke girls make statement

Through the faculty golf year, will verify in weekly to update what is happening in the earth of college or university golf.

6 yrs ago, Sam Bennett bogeyed 3 of his final four holes, shot 77 and concluded two strokes guiding winner Garett Reband at the AJGA Valero Junior Texas Open up.

On Wednesday, Bennett, now a junior at Texas A&M, discovered himself in a further ultimate-round struggle for Reband, a fifth-yr senior at Oklahoma – and on the very same course, TPC San Antonio’s Oaks structure, where the PGA Tour annually plays the Valero Texas Open.

Bennett started out the last spherical of the Cabo Collegiate three photographs again of 36-hole chief Vincent Norrman of Florida Condition and 1 driving Reband. But a closing 5-under 67, highlighted by six birdies in his final 13 holes, was more than enough to give Bennett his 1st faculty gain by a shot in excess of Reband, who fired a bogey-cost-free 68 to cap his match.

“When we concluded, Garett came up to me and explained, ‘I obtained you very last time, you got me this time,’” stated Bennett, whose 5-beneath functionality led the Aggies to a third-spot finish behind winner Oklahoma and runner-up Florida Condition.

Bennett, a hard-nosed kid who did not pass up a event as a sophomore irrespective of breaking his remaining collarbone in an intramural flag football recreation and owning surgical procedures, had come shut to winning a school occasion in advance of, together with at last week’s Border Olympics, in which he led right after two rounds only to observe with a closing 76 and tie for fifth, three photographs shy of teammate Dan Erickson.

“I choked,” Bennett admitted.

Wednesday’s victory erased any terrible taste in Bennett’s mouth as the junior outplayed the other a few members of the final foursome – Reband, Norrman and Arizona State’s Mason Andersen, who have blended for 11 individual college or university victories – and topped a stacked industry that also incorporated five U.S. Walker Cuppers in Florida State’s John Pak, Texas teammates Cole Hammer and Pierceson Coody, Oklahoma’s Quade Cummins and Oklahoma State’s Austin Eckroat.

“I’ve often identified I could contend with the most effective in higher education golfing, but I just in no way bought the job performed,” explained Bennett on the van journey back to University Station, his trophy in his lap. “Now, I know it and I’ve gotten the job performed.”

Bennett will be earning the drive back to TPC San Antonio in a several months. An included gain to profitable Wednesday was a sponsor exemption into the Valero Texas Open up. The April 1-4 occasion will mark Bennett’s very first PGA Tour begin.

Not terrible for a kid from Madisonville, Texas, a smaller town about 20 miles outside the house of School Station, where Bennett acquired the game on a rundown nine-gap golfing system.

“It’s heading to be sweet,” Bennett claimed. “I’ve labored my total everyday living for this and usually dreamed of taking part in in a Tour occasion. Right now was rather unique to get the position finished and close out my 1st gain, but to also get a location into the Valero Texas Open, it is even extra special.”

Bennett didn’t have to assume extensive when requested about his aims for future month’s Tour debut.

“Just going to deal with it like any other time I tee it up,” he mentioned. “Going to try out and earn.”

The champ is below

Numerous women’s nationwide title contenders converged on Columbia Nation Club in Blythewood, S.C., for this week’s Gamecock Intercollegiate.

Baylor was gunning for a sixth straight earn to keep undefeated. Wake Forest was clean off its initially victory of the year at Kiawah. Host South Carolina and Ole Miss out on have been coming off their 2nd workforce titles.

But in the stop, it was the reigning NCAA champion leaving with the components.

Led by personal winner Eric Shepherd, Duke shot even par in 54 holes to defeat Wake Forest by 3 photographs on Wednesday. In hard problems, Shepherd led the discipline with 14 birdies as the sophomore shot 7 beneath to also earn by 3 photographs. Freshman Phoebe Brinker tied for 3rd at 2 below for the Blue Devils, who ham and egged it nicely with their other a few players not finishing improved than T-40 but just about every of them posting at least a single rating of 74 or far better.

“It does appear like a even though back in truth, it was a even though back,” Duke head coach Dan Brooks said of his staff still holding the title of defending countrywide champs. “But I really do not commit a lot of time on the previous, and you find out that as time goes on, not to consider about the previous. Honestly, I have not imagined about it that a lot. We’ve moved on. New people today, new workforce, and we’re going to see if we can do it again this time.”

Only two players continue being from Duke’s 2019 championship squad: Gina Kim and Jaravee Boonchant, the latter of whom has however to tee it up this spring for the Blue Devils, who have 1 of the smallest rosters in college or university golf with just 6 gamers. The senior hasn’t played anyplace considering the fact that last March’s Darius Rucker Intercollegiate because of the COVID-19 pandemic, opting to participate in it safe and keep residence in Thailand instead than vacation.

However, Brooks claimed Boonchant not too long ago felt comfy adequate to fly again to the U.S. She landed in Durham, North Carolina, on Tuesday evening. Component of Boonchant’s choice most likely is thanks to Duke’s stringent coronavirus insurance policies, which consist of everyday testing of athletes. Even even though traveling to activities, Duke’s golfers have to test. A courier company picks up the exams each working day and delivers them back again to campus for benefits.

“It’s rather one thing,” Brooks said. “Our university and department have finished an great task.”

Duke has just three situations left on its spring program just before the ACC Championship, together with only 1 full-area, stroke-participate in event, the Valspar Augusta Invitational, which commences March 13 in Augusta, Ga. It is not considerably time for Boonchant to shake off the rust, but with Shepherd starting off to understand her probable (she’s gone 3rd, acquire to open up the spring), Brinker bouncing again just after a rough college or university debut and Kim enjoying a sturdy wintertime highlighted by her win at More durable Corridor, Brooks is assured his crew is excellent plenty of to conquer everyone no matter of the 5 players he has out there. The Blue Devils proved his level Wednesday.

“We have some seriously proficient youngsters and some good character, and that contains all 6 of them,” Brooks reported, “so if one particular of them is not there, we continue to have a truly fantastic staff.”

Aid from grandfather fueling Illinois’ Feagles

Support from grandfather fueling Illinois' Feagles

D2 in identify only

Forty-a person women’s groups teed it up Sunday-Tuesday in the Kiawah Island Classic. Forty of people teams are Division I. One of them is not.

The team that is not – Division-II Dallas Baptist – won. Go figure.

The Patriots, who are the major-ranked crew in the WGCA’s D-II coaches’ poll, shot 1 around in 54 holes all around equally Oak Position and Cougar Level to earn by 27 shots in excess of runner-up College of Charleston. Three Dallas Baptist players concluded T-5 or much better, including medalist Faith DeLaGarza, who bested the area by two shots at 3 underneath.

“When you tee it up, you don’t get more photographs for becoming a large-time recruit or becoming at a D1 or what ever, you continue to have to get it in the hole,” Patriots head coach Kenny Trapp informed Golfweek. “As many years have absent on, especially in the last five many years or so, it’s receiving closer and closer. There is just so several gamers now, the video game has just expanded so considerably that they really don’t have a whole lot of areas to go and folks want to get. Men and women want to have a opportunity to get a countrywide title. There is usually going to be, now, the top 5 or 10 in D-II are heading to be in that leading 100 and a pair of us are leading 50 even in that D-I arena.”

Taking form

A lot less than a few months soon after the 2020 Arnold Palmer Cup, the rosters for this year’s match-play party are starting to choose condition.

On Wednesday at Bay Hill, 12 gamers had been announced as committee choices. Filling out the initial 6 places on the U.S. crew have been Florida’s Ricky Castillo, Texas’ Pierceson Coody, Georgia’s Trent Phillips, Wake Forest’s Rachel Kuehn, USC’s Allisen Corpuz and Arkansas’ Brooke Matthews. The 6 international options had been Wake Forest’s Alex Fitzpatrick, Arizona State’s David Puig, Florida’s Yuxin Lin, South Carolina’s Pauline Roussin-Bouchard, LSU’s Ingrid Lindblad and Florida State’s Beatrice Wallin.

The relaxation of the two 24-participant sides will be uncovered on Could 3. The 2021 Palmer Cup will be played June 11-13 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois.