Coody, Longhorn men’s golf start spring season off strong at Amer Ari Invitational

Cameron Parker

There are worse ways to spend your February than by playing golf in Hawaii — just ask the Texas Men’s Golf team. Opening their spring season, the Longhorns finished in second place after shooting 37 under par at the Waikoloa Kings’ Course in Waikoloa Village, Hawaii.

In their first event since winning the East Lake Cup to close the fall season, the Longhorns continued their strong play highlighted by sophomore Pierceson Coody. Coody finished the final two rounds with a blistering 66 and 67 to end the tournament 11 under par, lifting him to fifth place on the individual leaderboard. 

“The turnaround between the first round and the last two days was just some competitive rust,” Coody told “I felt like I played solid all three days.”

Texas failed to record a top-three finish in its first four tournaments after opening the 2019-20 season ranked No. 1 in the country. With players going in and out of the lineup, including three freshmen making their collegiate debut, the Longhorns showed no resemblance to the team that finished runner-up at last season’s NCAA Championships.

Finally, the Longhorns turned it around at the East Lake Cup in October 2019 and recorded their first tournament victory of the season.

“We know we’re a good team, we just hadn’t seen anything positive,” Texas head coach John Fields said after the Longhorns’ victory at East Lake. 

No matter the reasoning for the Longhorns’ slow start to the season, it seems they found their rhythm in Atlanta and carried it across the Pacific Ocean.

“It’s nice for the team to get off to a good start, especially against such a strong field,” Coody said. “Unfortunately, we came up a couple shots short, but we all know collectively we left a lot out there and will build off this.”

The only thing preventing Texas from its second consecutive victory was a historic performance from Pepperdine University on the final day, combining to shoot 18 under par to beat Texas by two shots.

Texas will continue its West Coast swing at The Prestige Tournament in La Quinta, California played at the PGA West course next week.