DENVER – After winning the prestigious William H. Tucker Intercollegiate last weekend at the UNM Championship Course, NM State men’s golfer Aidan Thomas has been named WAC Men’s Golfer of the Week, the conference announced Wednesday.”Aidan had a lot of pressure playing last weekend because he’s from Albuquerque,” head coach Mike Dirks said. “I guarantee you he grew up wanting to win the event having seen it be played every year. Aidan is getting better and better both on the course and off it. What he did last weekend to finish nine-under at that course was quite an accomplishment. That course is tough, the greens are fast and the rough is long,” Dirks added. Thomas had at least a share of the lead during all three rounds of the tournament, and joins the likes of former Aggie great Crick Musch and 15-time major champion Tiger Woods. Both Woods and Musch won the William H. Tucker during their college careers.On Friday, Thomas opened up with a bogey-free round of 67 to grab a share of the lead with UNM’s Sam Choi.
Thomas upped his game during Friday’s second round, using three straight birdies on holes 3-5 to cruise to a second-round 66 that gave Thomas a three-shot lead heading into Saturday’s third and final round.On Saturday, Thomas birdied No. 1 (his 16th hole of the day) to vault into solo first place. The Albuquerque native battled the tough conditions to record pars on his penultimate and final holes to fire a final round 74.Thomas held off fast-charging Jiri Zuska of nationally-ranked Louisville, Keanuy Akina of BYU and nationally-ranked (No. 29) Choi to earn his second career title. Thomas was the first Aggie since Ryo Harada in 2017 to win an individual outright title.”Aidan had to figure out how to close out the final day which is always the toughest part, because he was the local kid and was playing in front of his family,” Dirks concluded. “The way that he bounced back after a slow start was awesome to see. He was inputting all of our scores last weekend so he knew exactly what he needed to do in order to win. He hit the ball in the bushes on the third-to-last hole, but he was able to scramble to make his par. Aidan had to overcome a lot which shows how mentally tougher he has gotten. He’s learning how to handle himself when things don’t always go right, which is what the great players are able to do.”Thomas is the first Aggie since Joseph Robson to win WAC Golfer of the Week since teammate Joseph Robson accomplished the feat last April 28.The Aggies return to action two weeks from this coming Monday (Oct. 18) for the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate presented by Spence Asset Management.
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