FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Senior Chandler Phillips and freshman Sam Bennett were named to the Division I PING All-Central Region Team at NCAA Championships this week. The pair finished top-two statistically on the team as they helped the Aggies return to quarterfinal match play at NCAA Championships after winning back-to-back NCAA Regionals for the first time in program history.
Bennett competed in 11 of the 12 events in his first collegiate season, making his debut at the Shoal Creek Invitational in the fall where he tied for fourth out of an 88-player field, shooting 4-under in his first tournament. Bennett was A&M's second highest finisher at the Arizona Intercollegiate, shooting 5-under to tie for 16th in his first spring tournament. He earned a top-20 finish in stroke play at the SEC Championships and after a hard fought battle in the quarterfinals of match play, earned his first match play win against Arkansas on the final hole in the semifinals. The Madisonville, Texas native tied for 12th at the NCAA Pullman Regional shooting 7-under 203 (69-67-67), setting a new 54-hole season low. He shot par or lower in 18 rounds this season, including all three rounds of the NCAA Pullman Regional. Bennett, who was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team, finished second on the team with a 71.85 stroke average, which ranks seventh in the all-time record book.
Phillips holds the program records for career tournament wins (7), lowest single round score (63) and lowest 54-hole score (-19). His 70.18 season stroke average in his final year dethrones the previous program best, which he held a season ago. He has accumulated 16 top-5 and 27 top-10 tournament finishes in his career and became the first American to be selected to participate in the Palmer Cup three times. Phillips has garnered All-SEC accolades in each of his four seasons at A&M, recently being named to the first team for the third straight season. He won the Arizona Intercollegiate, shooting a program best 19-under to start the spring season. The Huntsville, Texas native tied for sixth in stroke play at the SEC Championships to help the Aggies tie for third and advance to quarterfinal match play for the fourth straight season. Phillips tied for seventh at the NCAA Pullman Regional to help the Aggies win the Regional, shooting 9-under 200 (67-66-67). As junior, Phillips became just the fourth Aggie in program history to earn First Team All-America honors after a record-setting season.