As senior Spencer Soosman walked to the first tee Wednesday, he saw the Longhorns held a five-stroke lead atop the leaderboard. He also saw a familiar foe right below them: Pepperdine.
Earlier this month, Texas could only watch as Pepperdine blistered the Waikoloa Kings’ Course with a 18-under final round to win by two shots. This time around at The Prestige, Soosman and the Longhorns weren’t interested in a sequel.
Led by Soosman and sophomore Pierceson Coody, the Texas men’s golf team captured their second victory of the season at the Greg Norman Course at PGA West in La Quinta, California.
“Winning this tournament meant a lot for us,” Soosman said. “I’m happy we got it done, and I’m so glad I was able to carry the torch today.”
Soosman’s final-round 65 propelled him to nine-under for the tournament, where he finished in third place individually.
“I’ve been playing well, and today I just made a lot of putts,” Soosman said. “I was hoping to get (my first win), but I know I will use this to press on.”
After opening the school year ranked No. 1, the Longhorns struggled and failed to record a top-three finish until the final event of the fall season.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen over the course of this next year, but I know that when our experienced guys play like they can, we’re pretty solid,” Texas head coach John Fields said at the East Lake Cup in October.
Now the Longhorns are showing resemblance to the team that finished runner-up in the NCAA championships last year. So far, they have won two of their last three tournaments while coming in second place at the Amer Ari Invitational. Texas entered the spring season ranked No. 25, but already had climbed to No. 7 before Wednesday’s victory.
Coody continued his strong play with a five-under performance, tying him for sixth on the leaderboard. After finishing the Amer Ari Invitational in fifth place individually, Coody felt that the team still had room for improvement. It showed at The Prestige when the Longhorns claimed the top spot after the second round and never looked back.
Freshman Travis Vick had a solid performance at the PGA West course before a final-round 74 derailed his tournament and pushed him back into a tie for 21st place alongside sophomore Cole Hammer. Coody went even for the tournament, tying for 31st.
The Longhorns will have a week off before heading to Las Vegas for the Southern Highlands Collegiate.