Texas A&M cruises to Blessings Collegiate Invitational title
Behind medalist Daniel Rodriques, 10th-ranked (Golfweek/Sagarin) Texas A&M roared to a 20-shot victory over Ole Miss on Wednesday at the Blessings Collegiate Invitational, hosted by the University of Arkansas.
The Aggies took charge of this tournament with a lights-out second round of 15-under and never looked back as A&M locked down their second team title of the season following its win at the Badger Invitational.
The Aggies' final score of 11-under 853 was good for a 20-shot win over Ole Miss (+9) and 22 over third place Arkansas (+11; 875), which tasted defeat for the first time in the third playing of the BCI. The margin of victory was the largest in the history of the tournament by seven shots.
While the Aggies had the team title all but locked up, Rodrigues was successfully wrapping up the first individual title of his career with a final round 70 (-2). The junior from Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal headed into Tuesday's final round with a one-shot lead over Kansas' Gunnar Broin, who shot a final round of 78 to drop out of title contention.
Rodrigues proved to be a worthy front-runner but held off a hard-charging Sarut Vongchaisit of Ole Miss, who shot a final round 65 to finish in second place, just two shots back of the medalist's winning total of 11-under 209 (69-66-70).
Rodrigues' 11-under score of 209 equaled the BCI 54-hole record, set last season by Luke Long of Arkansas.
"Dani has been playing a lot of great golf this fall so it's been trending this way for a while," Texas A&M head coach Brian Kortan said. "I'm extremely proud of him and what he accomplished, but I'm not surprised. He's really a good player and we know he's a good player, his teammates know he's good. It's nice for him to get his first win at such a challenging course. It was a joy to watch."
Joining Rodrigues in the top five was fifth-year senior and U.S. Amateur champion Sam Bennett, who finished fourth at 3-under (75-68-70=213). Phichaksn Maichon (13th; +3), William Paysse (t-15th; +4) and Jaime Montojo (t-18th; +5) earned top-20 finishes.
"The guys did a great job all week," Kortan said. "Blessings is a challenging golf course every step of the way. We made our mistakes, but the guys hung in there. They didn't get down. They stayed positive and kept fighting so even when we made mistakes, we didn't compound them. I'm really happy with the way they competed this week for sure."
ABOUT THE Blessings Collegiate
Started in 2020, the Blessings Collegiate Invitational
features men’s and women’s teams competing in a 54-
hole stroke play format for individual and team honors.
View Complete Tournament Information