Golfers head to Illinois for 2011 season debut

Peter Sblendorio

The Longhorns kick off the 2011 season this weekend at the Olympia Fields Invitational in Chicago with high aspirations for the new year.

Texas, who enters the season ranked No. 5 in the GolfWorld/Nike Golf Coaches’ Poll, will be one of 10 ranked teams competing in the 15-team field this weekend. No. 2 Oklahoma State and No. 3 Alabama should pose the biggest threats to the Longhorns’ chances of leaving Chicago with a win, while No. 7 Florida, No. 8 Duke and No. 9 Auburn round out the top-10 teams in the tournament.

The Longhorns are set to tee off at 8 a.m. on Friday at the 10th hole, where they are matched up with Florida and Indiana.

Texas is sending four upperclassmen and one freshman to the Olympia Fields Country Club for the tournament. Among the five golfers competing will be senior Dylan Frittelli, who was the 2010 Big 12 Conference Player of the Year and a member of the PING and Golfweek All-America teams last season.

Junior Cody Gribble, who also was honored by PING and Golfweek as an All-America selection in 2010, will also be making the trip to Chicago, along with senior Alex Moon, junior Julio Vegas and freshman Kramer Hickok. Texas freshman Jordan Spieth will not be taking part in the Olympia Fields Invitational after finishing as the top point-getter for the United States in the 2011 Walker Cup last weekend.

The three-day tournament will take place on a par-70 course that spans 7,205 yards. With two-thirds of the competing teams ranked in the coaches’ poll, the Longhorns will have to be up to the test to play well on the difficult course if they want to come out on top at the Olympia Fields Invitational.

Printed on Friday, September 16, 2011 as: No. 5 Horns travel to Illinois in search of season's first win.