No. 2 Texas falters against No. 5 USC, ending season

Kunal Patel

The No. 2 men’s golf season ended quicker than the team hoped, losing to No. 5 USC in the NCAA Championship quarterfinal round.

Senior Kramer Hickok teed off first for the Longhorns. He dropped one down right away but managed to square things up on the 12th hole. His opponent, Bobby Gojuangco, took the lead again on the 15th hole and never looked back. Hickok ended his stellar career losing 4&2 on the seventh hole.

Freshman Doug Ghim was in a heated battle with USC’s Rico Hoey all day, as neither player led by more than one shot until the 18th hole, where Hoey took a two-stroke lead. Ghim fought back, but it wasn’t enough, and Hoey ended up winning on the fourth hole, 2&1 on 17.

Sophomore Gavin Hall took an early lead on his opponent, Sean Crocker, before Crocker caught fire and roared back to even things up. Hall tried to pull away a number of times but was unable to do so.

Hall went up by two strokes on the 13th and 14th holes, but Crocker evened things out. Hall appeared to throw a knockout blow when he took a three-stroke lead going into hole four, but Crocker wouldn’t budge was able to tie things up on the 18th hole. Crocker used the shift in momentum to take the match in a playoff on the 10th hole.

Freshman Scottie Scheffler came out firing and played his way to a two-up lead after the first two holes against Eric Sugimoto, and he continued this lead until the 16th.

Unfortunately for Scheffler, Sugimoto’s swing was on point, and he took a two-stroke lead going into the final two holes. Scheffler managed to force a playoff after winning the final two holes, but the match was called before they could complete it.

After posting a 71 the previous day, sophomore Beau Hossler couldn’t carry the momentum over in his match against Jonah Texeira. After falling behind early, Hossler bounced back and evened things out on the 13th.

Texeira retook the lead and was up by one and two strokes until the 17th hole, where Hossler was able to tie the score again. Hossler sinked a putt to win his match, but it  was too late, as Texas’ overall loss was already imminent.

Texas ends one of its best seasons in program history. The Longhorns won seven tournaments throughout the season, topping it off with their third-straight Big 12 Championship.