With stacked roster, Texas looks to get back to championship glory

Jacob Martella

Since winning the national championship in 2012, the Texas’ men’s golf team has found that hoisting the trophy for a second time is just as hard as it was to win it once.

In their attempt to return as champs in 2013, the Longhorns fell to Illinois in the first round of match play at the NCAA Championships. Last year, Texas failed to qualify for the match play portion of the championship, finishing 13th.

But with standout sophomores Beau Hossler and Gavin Hall returning to the team and incoming freshmen Taylor Funk, Doug Ghim and Scottie Scheffler providing solid depth, the Longhorns are ready to get back to the top of the college golf world.

“Our team is going to be one of the best in the country this year,” Hossler said in an interview with Longhorn Network.

While the Longhorns struggled in the NCAA Championships, they do come into the year with some momentum from winning their second-straight Big 12 championship — the first time they’ve done that since winning three straight from 2002-2004. They also bring back all but two players from last year’s squad. Senior Kramer Hickok returns after finishing in the top 10 in four tournaments last year, and Hall will look to improve after a disappointing freshman campaign.

Hossler will likely be the leader for Texas on the course, though. He led the team with 24 rounds at or below par last year and was Texas’ highest finisher in three of the last four tournaments, including a season-best third place finish in the Big 12 Championships.

And he’s only gotten better this summer. Since the NCAA tournament, Hossler made the final of the California State Amateur and won both the Southern California Amateur and the Western Amateur. 

The three incoming freshmen will also provide strength. Scheffler, ranked No. 1 in the junior rankings when signed with the Longhorns, was a three-time 4A state champion in Texas and won the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, while both Funk and Ghim are likely to be key pieces for the Longhorns for the next four years as well.

Texas will be ready to get off to a strong start when it tees off for the first time in the OFCC/Fighting Illinois Invitational on Sept. 12.