The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, April 10, 2015, Image 4

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The Battalion I 4.10.15
Palmer in Masters’ top 10
Aggie grad closes Day 1 at No. 8
By Lawrence Smelser
ormer Texas A&M golfer
Ryan Palmer played on
the biggest stage in golf
Thursday — The Mas-
Palmer, who played for Texas
A&M from 1996 to 1999 after
transferring from North Texas, sits
tied for No. 8 at three strokes un
der par after shooting an opening-
round 69.
The No. 23 ranked golfer in the
world caught fire early, birdying
four of the first eight holes, put
ting him one shot off the lead at
the time. He made the turn to the
back nine in only 32 shots, which
tied Jordan Spieth’s front nine for
the lowest score out of the entire
field for the first round.
Palmer’s 69 was the lowest
opening round he’s ever had in five
appearances at the Masters, and it
was tied for his best round at Au
gusta in his career. The only other
time he broke 70 was when he shot
a 69 in the third round of the 2011
Palrrier spoke with Lance Lahn-
heit of the Amarillo Globe-News
regarding his round.
“I’m happy with it,” Palmer
said. “Anytime you break 70 here
on a Thursday, it’s a good day.”
Palmer will tee off his second
round at 9:13 a.m. Friday.
Twenty-one-year-old Jordan
Spieth, who attended the Univer
sity of Texas, finished the day as the
first-round leader after shooting an
eight-under 64. He was one shot
shy of tying the course record at
Defending champion Bubba
Watson and world No. 1 Rory
Mcllroy both shot one-under par
71s, while three-time Masters
champion Phil Mickelson shot
two-under for his round, putting
him tied for 12th.
Tom Watson, 65, became the
oldest player to shoot an under-par
round at the Masters. The record
was previously held by Sam Snead,
who was 61 years old when he shot
a 71 in 1974.
Fourteen-time major winner
Tiger Woods, who entered the
tournament at the last minute,
finished the day in 41st place after
shooting a one-over par 73.
Ryan Palmer
A&M secures
regular season
Aggies get top seed in SEC
tournament hosted at home
By Seth Stroupe
The No. 7 A&M men’s tennis team
clinched the SEC regular season cham
pionship Thursday when it swept the No.
24 LSU Tigers, 4-0, in Baton Rouge.
The win for the Aggies (18-3, 11-1 SEC)
was the 10th in a row as the SEC tourna
ment is now on the horizon. The momen
tum built by the men’s squad is due in large
part to the play of freshman AJ Catanzariti,
who clinched the match Thursday with a
7-5, 6-2 win over his Tiger opponent.
A&M will travel at 1 p.m. Saturday to
Fort Worth to wrap up the regular season
with the team against which it kicked the
season off, the No. 10 TCU Homed Frogs.
The last time the Frogs and Aggies met,
it was TCU (18-6, 2-2 Big 12) who came
away with the 4-2 victory in College Sta
tion. Since the season opener, the Aggies
have seen improvement from the bottom
of their lineup and will be a different team
than they were in January.
Following their match Saturday, the Ag
gies will look forward to the SEC tourna
ment hosted in College Station where they
will hold the No. 1 seed when it begins
April 17.
While the men take to the road, the
women will stay home to host their final
two conference matches of the season be
fore the SEC tournament.
The A&M women’s team (13-4, 9-2
SEC) will return home after defeating the
No. 7 Baylor Bears Wednesday. After trail
ing 1-3, the Aggies fought back to finish off
a 4-3 victory that completed a two-game
sweep of the Bears this season.
Looking ahead, the Aggies will host
two ranked teams this weekend — No. 8
Vanderbilt and No. 21 Kentucky.
First up on Friday afternoon will be the
Commodores (15-5,10-1 SEC), who boast
a six-match conference win streak. On Sun
day, A&M will welcome Kentucky (15-9,
6-4 SEC) at noon. The Wildcats will enter
College Station having dropped their last
three matches, including their final home
match versus South Carolina. In their past
three matches, the Wildcats have only man
aged to record two points and have been
outscored 12-2.
Following this weekend, the A&M
women will look ahead to the SEC tourna
ment held at South Carolina starting April
Valeri© Gunchick — THE BATTALION
Adria Arnaus puts during the Aggie Invitational at the Traditions Club
last weekend.
Men’s golf to host Reveille
Challenge this weekend
A&M looks to regain edge at
home after weekend slump
By Cole Stenholm
^ The T exas A&M men’s golf team re-
r' turns to its home course, the Tradi
tions Club in Bryan, this Sunday to host
the Reveille Challenge.
The challenge serves as A&M’s last
opportunity to tune up its game prior to
the SEC Championships next week.
Nine teams are expected to compete
this Sunday, including several in-state
programs such as the University of Hous
ton, North Texas, Stephen F. Austin and
Texas State.
Tournament play will feature 36 holes,
all of which will be played on Sunday at
the par 72, 7,146 yard Traditions course.
Last weekend, the Aggies walked
away from their home course empty
handed as they shot +16 (304) as a team
in final round action of the Aggie Invi
tational to drop from first to fifth place.
The A&M golf team is ranked No. 41
in the nation as its prepares for the home
stretch of the 2014-15 campaign.
However, A&M does not have any
thing higher than a fourth-place finish
this season in standard tournament play
with fields of at least 12 teams.
Only one Aggie, senior Greg Yates,
who won the Valspar Collegiate Invita
tional in March, owns an individual title
this season. His victory was the third of
his career.
The Aggies only possess four top-five
individual finishes this season, two on
which belong to junior Adria Amaus.
Arnaus and Yates are the highest-
ranked Aggies, coming in to the week
end as No. 56 and No. 101, respectively,
in the nation, and boasting A&M’s low
est scoring averages of 72.26 and 72.75.
Through that span, Nau has a .409
average with seven RBIs. A&M also has
had four consecutive games with mul
tiple home runs, and have hit 12 home
runs during its five-game win streak.
The Aggie pitching Stas'has been one
of the best in the country this season,
tied for second in the nation in team
ERA. Friday night, junior Grayson
Long will take the mound for A&M. In
his last outing against Kentucky, Long
got the win in 4 1 /3 innings of work,
with one run on six hits while striking
out six. He leads the team in strikeouts
(56). Game time is set for 6:35 p.m.
Saturday, Kyle Simonds will make his
second start of the season after begin
ning the year in the bullpen. In his first
start against Missouri, Simonds worked
five innings, surrendering two unearned
runs on only three hits. Simonds will
throw the first pitch at 1:05 p.m.
Matt Kent will get the nod for A&M
on Sunday afternoon. Last time out
against Kentucky in the double header,
Kent went 3 1/3 innings, allowing three
runs on five hits in the game. Kent will
get the game started at 12:05 p.m.
A&M is 23-1 within the friendly
confines of Olsen Field this season.
SEC West at
stake in home
series against
Strong midweek performances propel
Aggies to date with No. 6 Tigers
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Kathryn Perez — THE BATTALION
Tori Vidales led A&M to a win over UNT
Wednesday with a 4-for-4 outing.
By Milkyas Gashaw
^ The Texas A&M softball team will host the Au-
^ burn Tigers this weekend in a top-25 matchup
that could solidify the SEC West race.
The No. 23 Aggies (31-10, 7-5 SEC) come into
the meeting on a roll after consecutive victories
against UTSA and North Texas in midweek match
ups. The weather might- play a role in this series,
however. Rain is forecasted in College Station this
entire weekend, causing potential rain delays and
possible postponed games.
The Aggies are led offensively by freshman Tori
Vidales, who has been hitting the cover off the ball
recently. The Aggies go as she goes, with Vidales go
ing 4-4 with a homer in Wednesday night’s meeting
with North Texas.
Cali Lanphear showed some pop on Wednesday
along with Breanna Dozier as they added homers of
their own. Head coach Jo Evans praised the produc
tion she’s getting from Vidales.
“It’s great to see her have a game like that,” Evans
said. “She’s just such a good hitter. She’s particularly
great with two strikes and she’s a tough out. When
pitchers get ahead of her she finds a way to come back
and hit home runs. She hits tough balls in the gap. Just
a great job by a great hitter. She’s very, very good and
I expect that we’ll see these kind of nights from her
for the next four years.”
The No. 6 Tigers (38-5, 10-2 SEC) are led on
offense by Emily Carosone and Kasey Cooper, both
of whom are tied for the club lead in homers with 16
on the season. Carosone leads the club with 63 RBIs
and Cooper is not far behind with 50 of her own.
Senior Rachel Fox and the rest of the Aggie pitching
staff will have their hands full with this potent Tiger
First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.