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M-golf takes an early exit

Junior golfer Jonathan Khan uses a sand wedge to dig his ball out of the sand trap at the Callaway Match Play Championship on Sunday. Arizona was eliminated from play by Texas A&M.

After finishing dead last in the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters and fourth place at the National Invitational Tournament, the Arizona men's golf team was eager to begin play in the Callaway Match Play Championship, which began Sunday at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Marana, Ariz.

However, Texas A&M; made sure the Wildcats weren't in contention for too long.

The Aggies won three of the five matches that pitted Arizona against Texas A&M; in the first round of the tournament. Juniors Tarquin MacManus and Rich Saferian were UA's only golfers to prevail against their counterparts from the Lone Star State.

Saferian and MacManus were both in control after the first hole, as neither fell behind in their match. Freshman Trent Redfern and sophomore Philip Bagdade were on the other end of that spectrum, as both trailed their entire matches. 

""Going into this week we had Trent (Redfern) playing in, like, his second varsity tournament, so we're still trying to find that consistent fifth spot,"" Saferian said.

Although the Wildcats are out of contention for the tournament championship, each participating school is guaranteed four matches. UA is currently leading its first consolation match against Middle Tennessee State — last year's champion.

""It looks like we're going to win this match, so we'll have two more and we definitely want to win those,"" Saferian added.

The match will be completed today after play was suspended yesterday due to nightfall, and the winner will advance to face the winner of the Texas Tech vs. Washington match.

Texas Tech, ASU, UCLA and Texas Christian University are all Golfweek/Sagarain top-20 teams that made a first round exit on Sunday.

Third-round matches will begin with a 9:30 a.m. shotgun start today, and final-round matches will begin with an 8 a.m. shotgun start Tuesday.

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