Tuesday, May 19, 2009

No 'SI' jinx here!

I posted a story last week about former Aggie golfer Martin Piller, who is in the midst of a pretty successful season on the Nationwide Tour (the golf equivalent of baseball's triple-A league). Piller, who completed his Texas A&M eligibility one year ago, currently sits at No. 7 on the Nationwide Tour money list--a very important slot considering the top 25 at the end of the year earn full-time status on the PGA Tour.

Last week, Piller earned one of a handful of sponsors exemptions into the PGA Tour's Valero Texas Open in San Antonio, and we are proud to report that Piller excelled in his first Tour event.

Not only did the Duncanville, Texas, native make the cut, his Saturday round of 64 vaulted him into the top 25 prior to Sunday's final round. His Sunday score of 71 gave him a 6-under-par total (69-70-64-71=274) and tied him for 40th overall. He earned a cool $22,570 for his efforts, equalling about 20 percent of what he's already won this season on the Nationwide Tour.

Piller's solid finish went along nicely with the way a few other Aggies played in San Antonio. Fellow Class of 2008er Robert Gates played his way into the Valero field courtesy of a Monday qualifier. Gates also proved his mettle, finishing a shot back of Piller. Gates opened with a 3-over-par 73 but played his next two rounds in 9-under. He finished tied for 47th.

Former A&M All-American Jeff Maggert ended in a tie for 32nd, giving A&M three top 50 finishers in the tournament. The trio finished ahead of players like Chad Campbell, Carlos Franco, Rocco Mediate and Anthony Kim.

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