Tower lit burnt orange for Big 12 Championship

Hicks Layton

On Wednesday night, the UT Tower was lit up once again.

Per tradition, among others, the Tower is bathed in burnt orange lighting when an athletic team wins a conference championship, and that’s exactly what the No. 7 Texas women’s golf team did this past weekend — for the second year in a row.

“This is just an amazing experience,” sophomore Emilee Hoffman said. “To be able to light the Tower for the second year in a row with my team is just a great feeling. This is what we work so hard for, and it’s great to be able to accomplish our goals.”

The Longhorns won by eight strokes over Baylor and Oklahoma State at the Dallas Athletic Club. Led by Hoffman, who finished second place individually, Texas battled soggy conditions on a very tough golf course to come out on top.

“Something I love about this team is that we never give up and we always fight to the end,” Hoffman said. “I’m really proud of this team.”

This win marked Texas’ fifth all-time Big 12 title. The Longhorns won previously in 1997, 2004, 2011 and 2017. This year’s squad became the first team to win back-to-back Big 12 championships since Oklahoma State in 2008–09.

“I think it says a lot about our team currently,” Texas head coach Ryan Murphy said. “We had a great team last year. We probably have a lot better team this year if you just look at the numbers — stroke averages and rankings — top to bottom. Our top five can compete with anybody in the country.”

Texas was selected as a No. 2 seed for the NCAA Regionals, which will take place May 7–9. Arkansas, the SEC champion, is the No. 1 seed.

The Longhorns get to host an NCAA Regional this year, which will be played at the team’s home course at the UT Golf Club. The Longhorns won the Betsy Rawls Invitational there earlier this season by 15 strokes.

“It’s a tremendous advantage because not only is it our home course, but we’ve seen all the wind directions,” freshman Kaitlyn Papp said. “At our home tournament in October, the winds flipped from the first day to the second day, and the course played totally different. I think it’s a real advantage for us to see how the course plays both ways.”