Mega props are due to A&M sophomore Conrad Shindler.
The Coppell, Texas, native recorded a hole-in-one today on the biggest stage in college golf, acing the third hole at Inverness Club in the opening round of the NCAA Championships. As of this writing, there was no word yet about which club Shindler used on the 200-yard hole, but the feat is certainly one that he'll talk about for the rest of his life.
Shindler has is playing in his ninth event of the year for A&M, which trails only Bronson Burgoon and Andrea Pavan. He owns a 75.00 scoring average, with his season-best round of 67 coming at the John Burns Intercollegiate in Leilahua, Hawaii, in February.
The five-member Aggie team at this week's NCAA Championships is Shindler, Burgoon, Pavan, John Hurley and Matt Van Zandt.
And since we're busy passing out kudos, some are due to the NCAA for the new format of the men's tournament. This year's tournament will consist of 54 holes to determine the individual champion. After three rounds, the top eight teams will advance to match play. Unlike stroke play where four of a team's five best scores count, the match play portion will include every player in the scoring. A team will need three or more singles wins to earn a victory.
In previous years, the field played three rounds before a 54-hole cut trimmed the field to 15 for the final round. While that format is more like a PGA Tour event, the new format puts an extra emphasis on the entire team and will create an easily-watchable head-to-head feel for the final rounds.