Men’s golf captures third National Title in exciting fashion

Derek Lewis

It took three years, but Texas finally avenged its 2010 National Title loss in football to the Alabama Crimson Tide. Well, almost.

Albeit in a different sport, men’s golf defeated the Tide for its third national title and the first since the 1971-1972 back to back titles. 

“I heard from Mack Brown last night. He didn’t win his last one against Alabama, so he told us to go win today,” said head coach John Fields. 

Unlike the football game three years ago, the match came down to the wire, with the Longhorns and Tide both vying for the National Title until the 18th hole of the Sunday’s match-play championship. The first match to finalize came down to an eagle and birdie on the 17th and 18th holes by Alabama sophomore Bobby Wyatt to defeat Texas sophomore Toni Hakula. Next, Alabama senior Hunter Hamrick defeated Texas junior Julio Vegas in  just 13 holes in the most lopsided match on the day. 

That’s when Texas junior Cody Gribble finished off his match against Scott Strohmeyer by a 6&5 margin. Gribble led Strohmeyer by six holes with just five holes left in the round, making a comeback from the Alabama junior out of the question. Followed by the matchup between two of golf’s best amateur players, Texas freshman Jordan Spieth and Alabama freshman Justin Thomas squared off, with Spieth emerging victorious with a 3&2 win.

It all came down to the pairing of Alabama’s Cory Whitsett and Texas senior Dylan Frittelli. Frittelli birdied the 17th hole to tie up the final at 2 games apiece, and sent fans in droves to the all-deciding 18th hole. On 18, Whisett came bogeyed, leaving Frittelli needing only a two putt to clinch the team title. Instead, the senior rattled home a 30 foot putt from the edge of the green for the win and the national championship. 

“I was sure he was going to make the chip. To get my mind right I had to pretend it was going in. I wanted to make the putt no matter what,” said Frittelli. “When I saw him miss, it made it a little easier on me, but I still wanted to put it in.” 

Texas took home its 46th all-time NCAA Championship team title and 50th overall National Championship. It is the first title since Men’s Swimming and Diving were crowned NCAA Champions in the spring of 2010. 

“A lot is expected of us at Texas,” said Spieth. “When you commit to play any sport at Texas, you are committing to do everything you can to win a championship.”