Longhorns start season perfect, best top-ranked Alabama

Peter Sblendorio

The No. 2 Texas men’s golf team picked up right where it left off last year, beginning its national title defense with a win in its first tournament of the 2012-13 season this weekend at the Carpet Capital Collegiate.

The Longhorns finished 13 shots below par for the tournament, shooting a combined 851 over three days.

Second place Georgia, who recorded a score of 856 (-8), were the only others in the 15-team field to finish below par, and No. 1 Alabama finished third with a score of 865 (+1).

Freshman Brandon Stone, ranked as the No. 30 amateur player in the world, led the way for the Longhorns in his first ever collegiate tournament, shooting a 12-under-204 for the event to lead all individual golfers.

Stone’s second day mark of 9-under-63 matched the best score by a Longhorn since 2000.

Sophomore Jordan Spieth was not far behind Stone, finishing in a tie for second with a score of 10-under-206. Spieth managed to lead Texas with a low final round score of 2-under-70 on Sunday marking the 24th round in his collegiate career that he finished under par.

Sophomore Kramer Hickok came in a tie for 26th place, shooting a 5-over-221, and senior Julio Vegas carded a 6-over-222 to finish tied for 31st for the Longhorns.

Redshirt junior Johnathan Schnitzer tied for 58th to round out the scorecard, shooting an 11-over-227 for the event.

The Longhorns, who won eight titles last season, jumped to the front of the pack Saturday by shooting a 22-under-266.

This was the lowest-scoring round by a Texas team since John Fields took over as head coach in 1997.

The Longhorns will look to continue their winning ways at the PING/Golfweek Preview from Sept. 23-25 in Alpharetta, Ga.