John Burns Intercollegiate: Texas A&M surges to victory

WAHIAWA, Hawaii (Feb. 22, 2009) -- With four of five players shooting in the 60s, No. 25-ranked Texas A&M closed with a 16-under-par 272 on Friday for a three-stroke victory at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate at Leilehua Golf Course.

The Aggies (286-278-272=836) were eight shots out of the lead going into the final round in the spring opener, but rallied past New Mexico (839) and Arizona (840) to claim the title. A&M has won three of four tournaments this season, including two of three fall tournaments.

Freshman Geoff Shaw, playing in his first college tournament, fired a bogey-free six-under 66 to lead the charge. Sophomore Conrad Shindler added a 68, senior Bronson Burgoon and junior Andrea Pavan carded 69s, and sophomore Nacho Elvira had a 76. Senior Matt Van Zandt, playing as an individual, posted a 68.

The Aggies' final round was the second-lowest in school history behind the 17-under 271 they shot last year at the Barona Collegiate Cup. The 54-hole score of 28-under was the third lowest in school annals.

All six Aggies finished at par or better for the tournament. Burgoon tied for seventh (70-70-69=209), Shindler tied for 16th (76-67-68=211), Pavan tied for 24th (75-69-69=213), Elvira (67-72-76=215) and Van Zandt (69-78-68=215) tied for 33rd, and Shaw tied for 42nd (74-76-66=216).

"The guys were really impressive today," A&M Coach J.T. Higgins said. "There was nothing unbelievable about the round -- they just hit good shots, made some putts and kept their composure. It was fantastic the way they battled all day and they just got better as the round went on. When all six players finish at par or better, you have a chance for a pretty high finish. I'm really proud of the whole team. It was a great way to start the spring."

University of New Mexico freshman James Erkenbeck shot a 7-under-par 65 to claim the individual title with a total of 11-under 205.

Erkenbeck, who started the final round in eighth place, erased a five-shot deficit to edge second-round leader

He is the Lobos' first medalist since Charlie Beljan won the 2007 ASU Thunderbird Intercollegiate.

No. 9 Arkansas finished fourth (849), followed by Denver (850), Colorado State (851), Nevada (852), Auburn (853), SMU (854), San Diego (856), BYU (859), No. 20 UNLV (864), UC Santa Barbara (874), Hawaii (878), San Jose State (882), Texas-El Paso (890) and Hawaii-Hilo (897).

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54 hole men's college tournament hosted by the University of Hawaii.

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