|Texas celebrates after winning the National Championship||texassports.com|
Texas wins NCAA Men's Golf Championship
The Longhorns men's golf team took a thrilling victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide to claim the national championship.
The night before his team was set to meet the Alabama Crimson Tide out on the links for the national championship, Texas Golf Head Coach John Fields had a word with Texas Football Head Coach Mack Brown.
“He didn’t win his last one against Alabama, so he told us to go win today,” Fields said.
In a not-so-similar rematch between the Texas Longhorns and Crimson Tide—this time for the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship—the Horns triumphed with a dramatic finish Sunday at Riviera C.C. in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Texas’ Senior All-American Dylan Frittelli sunk a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th green that secured Texas Golf’s third national title and first since 1972.
Most of the matchups were hot contests all the way up until the final holes.
Texas’ junior Cody Gribble and standout freshman Jordan Speith won 2 & 1 and 3 & 2 respectively, while sophomore Toni Hakula lost 1 Up. Junior Julio Vegas, meanwhile had a rough day, losing 6 & 5 after dropping to a six-hole deficit through the front nine.
Hakula grabbed a one-hole lead after 16, but Alabama sophomore Bobby Wyatt eagled 17 and birdied 18 with an inspirational chip shot to secure a 1-0 Crimson Tide advantage.
Vegas would lose to Alabama senior Hunter Hamrick after he made it final with a par on 13 to put the Tide up 2-0.
Gribble never trailed against Alabama’s Scott Strohmeyer, as the Dallas-native sunk a birdie on 17 to end the match. Texas’ Speith—who grabbed a 3-hole lead after 15—turned in a solid day against his freshman competition in Justin Thomas.
With the championship coming down to the final matchup between Texas’ Frittelli and Alabama sophomore Cory Whitsett, it would not disappoint. Whitsett made it all square after 17 with a birdie, just as Speith finished off Thomas—sending the national championship to a one-hole contest for the crown.
Whitsett inexplicably whiffed on his third stroke that would have set up a par attempt, but he eventually bogeyed the hole, giving Frittelli a chance to two-putt his way to victory. The All-American, however, left no doubt as he sank 30-foot putt for birdie, sending all of the Texas faithful into hysteria.
“It came down to the last hole between two great players,” Fields said, “and Dylan made a fantastic putt.”
“I was sure he was going to make the chip,” Frittelli said. “I had to pretend it was going in. I wanted to make the putt no matter what. When I saw him miss, it made it a little easier on me, but I still wanted to put it in.”
The Men’s Golf Championship marked the University of Texas’ 50th national championship overall, its 46th NCAA team title and its first national championship since Men’s Swimming and Diving took the crown in March 2010.
Stats and quotes from Texassports.com.