Texas finishes fifth without Ghim

Dawson Hinkley

No. 15 Texas traveled to Santa Cruz, California, over the weekend to play in the 72nd Annual Western Intercollegiate Championship at Pasatiempo Golf Club.

The Longhorns’ chances at winning the tournament were slightly diminished from the beginning. Texas was forced to play without its star senior Doug Ghim, who played in the Masters Tournament over the weekend and finished with low amateur honors.

It was the first tournament of the season the Longhorns had to play without Ghim, but that didn’t stop them from making a solid early run in the tournament.

Senior Scottie Scheffler got out to a roaring start on the first day of play on Saturday. 

Scheffler fired a first-round 66, tallying five birdies and only one bogey. Scheffler’s second round of the day was delayed with six holes to play, but he was tied for the lead at 7-under par with Arizona’s George Cunningham through his first 30 holes.

Sophomore Drew Jones also had a notable first round, finishing with a career-low 67 in the first round. Texas finished the first round-and-a-half before the delay, sitting in third place at 4-under par. But the Longhorns did not fare as well in their second day of play.

The Longhorns finished the tournament on Sunday, capping off the delayed second round with a team score of 352 and finishing the third round with a total of 355.

Scheffler could not maintain the momentum from his first round, falling out of the lead to finish tied for 11th. Sophomore Spencer Soosman made a late tournament run with rounds of 69 and 66 to climb up the leaderboard and finish in a tie for ninth.

As a team, Texas finished the tournament at 4-over par, good enough for a fifth-place finish.

“Although none of the guys competed the event the way they were capable, they all contributed and gained valuable experience in the process,” Texas assistant coach Jean-Paul Hebert said. “Scottie Scheffler and Spencer Soosman’s 66’s and Drew Jones’ 67 were excellent rounds, and a fifth-place team finish in a 6-count-5 format without Doug Ghim is very respectable.”

Texas’ next outing will be at the Big 12 Championships on April 23–25.