No. 1 Texas men’s golf gears up for another national championship run

Trenton Daeschner

All eight members  of the Texas men’s golf team sat on the railing surrounding the Littlefield fountain on Wednesday night, waiting for the guest of honor to arrive. 

And then, as the the UT tower started to glow burnt orange in the background, it arrived — the Big 12 title trophy.

After five tournament wins in the regular season — all of them coming this spring — even the nation’s top-ranked team felt they still hadn’t put together a single complete round.

But then there was last Sunday at the Big 12 Championship in Trinity, Texas, when the Longhorns blew away the field with a 15-under par final round, winning by a record-setting 26 shots.

“It was a round that you kind of dream about,” head coach John Fields said. “We don’t take it for granted though. The guys worked really hard to get there.”

Texas has made a mockery of the Big 12 in recent years, winning the last four
conference titles by an average margin of 14.25 shots. The success derives from the caliber of players that have teed it up on the 40 Acres.

“It’s a testament to coach Fields’ recruiting,” said junior Beau Hossler, the No. 1 player in the country and a Ben Hogan Award finalist. “You have to have the talent and the players. You got guys getting better from the day they get on campus until the day they’re done.”

Texas shifts its focus now toward the NCAA Regionals. The Longhorns are the No. 1 seed in the Franklin, Tenn., regional, which will be played May 16-18 at the Vanderbilt Legends Club. 

Last year the Longhorns won their regional and advanced all the way to the match play quarterfinals before losing to USC. It’s something that still is fresh in
their minds.

“I think we all remember how we feel,” junior Gavin Hall said. “But, we’re a whole different team than where we were last year, and the great part is we learned from it, we’re healthy and we’re itching to get to regionals.”

Hall and Hossler have both been integral parts in Texas’ success this season. Hossler has won five times and recorded nine top-10s. Hall is coming off the best semester of his career with two wins and
six top-10s. 

But the true strength of this Texas team is in its depth. Sophomore Doug Ghim boasts six top-10 finishes, and sophomores Scottie Scheffler and Taylor Funk have each cracked the top-10 this season as well. 

“To have teammates like that to play against every single day and to practice with is — I think that’s where we get our confidence,” Hall said. “I think it’s just phenomenal the way we’ve handled the pressure and handled the expectations on us to perform.”

The Longhorns begin their quest for a fourth national championship in ten days. 

“We’re just excited about getting into the postseason and hopefully taking what we’ve done this year,” Fields said. “All the different golf courses we’ve played, all the different tournaments — take all that as momentum and go try to accomplish
something special.”