Horns relax before Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters

Andy Lutz

Heading into this weekend’s Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, head coach John Fields just wants his team to relax and have fun. After all, it is spring break, not to mention the fact that the tournament is being held in Las Vegas.

“We need to enjoy ourselves on the course this week, and I really mean that. Don’t get stressed, just go play,” Fields said.

This mantra of playing with a clear mind has been the theme and backbone of the team’s success all season long. Another common theme, as Fields can attest, has been the incredibly tough competition in all of the events that the Horns have participated in thus far.

“If you’re going to win in the postseason, you need to go against the best teams in the country on a regular basis — teams whom you will be competing against at the NCAA Championships,” Fields said. “So, to do anything other than that for this team would be counterproductive, and our guys know that.”

In Vegas, some of the competition that the fourth-ranked Longhorns will be going up against includes No. 1 Oklahoma State, No. 6 Florida, No. 7 Texas A&M and No. 12 UCLA. They will be looking to notch back-to-back first-place tournament finishes when they hit the road for Nevada, with the Puerto Rico Classic title from a couple of weeks ago already under their belt.

In recent years, the course at Southern Highlands hasn’t been too friendly to the Horns. Four players, including junior Bobby Hudson, have gotten familiar with it and are looking to capitalize on this experience. A little bit of fun along the way couldn’t hurt, either.