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Texas A&M men dominate en route to team, individual titles at 2022 Blessings Collegiate Invitational

Golfweek 10/6/2022 Cameron Jourdan
2022 Blessings Collegiate © Provided by Golfweek 2022 Blessings Collegiate

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Texas A&M men’s golf team set the tone from the opening tee shots.

The Aggies, 10th in the Golfweek Sagarin rankings, held a double-digit lead heading into the final round of the 2022 Blessings Collegiate Invitational at The Blessings Golf Club, and they made sure to never let that lead disappear Wednesday. Texas A&M dominated during the second and third rounds, finishing as the only team under par on the week to capture the team title, its second of the fall season.

In addition to the team title, Texas A&M junior Daniel Rodrigues captured the individual title, finishing at 11-under 205 for the week. Sam Bennett, the fifth-year senior who won the 2022 U.S. Amateur, finished at 3-under 213 for the Aggies, which was good for fourth place.

“Daniel has played some really good tournaments and not won, but that changed today,” Texas A&M coach Brian Kortan said. “He’s competitive. He’s diligent to what he’s doing. It was great to see him do that. It’s awesome.”

The Blessings Collegiate Invitational has a different format, with 11 men’s and women’s teams coming together and playing at the same time. In addition to that, all five players for each team play together at the same time instead of being paired with those from other schools.

The format also caused slow play, with rounds taking about 7 hours to complete.

Texas A&M was well in control from Tuesday’s second round on, and there was never any pressure applied from chasers, like host Arkansas, on Wednesday. The Razorbacks fell behind early and couldn’t recover on the back nine, finishing 11-over 875 for the tournament.

Ole Miss had a strong final round, rallying for a second-place finish in the team competition after a 3-under day, the only team to shoot under par on Wednesday. And it’s in large thanks to Sarut Vongchaisat, who fired a tournament-tying record 7-under 65 on Wednesday. Vongchaisat was 9 under with three holes to play, a number that included eagles on both par 5s on the back nine, but bogeys on Nos. 16-17 brought him back a bit. He made a long par putt on 18 to add a positive finish to the round.

As a team, Ole Miss shot 3 under in the final round and finished at 9-over 873 for the tournament.

Clemson finished fourth at 18 over, and Mississippi State came in a stroke behind in fifth. In the individual race, UNLV’s Caden Fioroni placed third at 7-under 209. Kansas’ Gunnar Broin, who was at 8 under and in second after the second round, shot 6 over on Wednesday and ended at 2 under in fourth.

But the tournament belonged to the Aggies. And it’s something they’ll look to build upon into the spring.

“Yesterday was such a good day, and sometimes it’s hard to come back from that, but we got off to a good start today,” Kortan said. “Blessings gets at you. We weren’t as crisp today, but we put together three really good rounds of golf.”

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