Longhorns tie for 4th in Calusa Cup after struggling in final round

Stephen Wagner

The Longhorns’ trip to Florida wasn’t as kind as they would have hoped.

Whether it was the Calusa Pines Golf Club’s challenging terrain, a physical factor or a mental block, the Texas men’s golf team shot an 11-over 875 for its second-worst team score of the spring at the Calusa Cup in Naples, Florida, although the No. 8 Longhorns still managed to finish tied for fourth.

Texas had its opportunities to step into the winner’s circle. The first two rounds of the tournament couldn’t have gone better for the Longhorns, coming off a two-week rest after shooting a season-best 31-under 833 in their last tournament March 21. Texas sat in third place at 3-over after the first two rounds, just two strokes behind first-place Oklahoma and three comfortable strokes in front of Florida.

The Longhorns couldn’t have asked for a better start individually, either. Junior Cole Hammer shot a 1-under 71 and 3-under 69 in the first two rounds of the tournament, arguably his best performance of the spring, and was tied for first with Florida freshman Joe Pagdin at 4-under. Junior Pierceson Coody, who won the first tournament of his college career at the George Hannon Invitational in mid-March, was only one stroke behind in third. Sophomores Mason Nome and Travis Vick were in respective ties for 26th and 31st, and graduate student Hunter Ostrom sat tied for 37th.

It quickly unraveled on the third and final round. Hammer shot a 4-over 76 Tuesday, dropping him into ninth place at even par and robbing him of his first victory since his freshman year. Nome, Vick and Ostrom didn’t fare much better.

Nome and Vick each shot a 3-over 75 to fall into 27th and 29th places, respectively. Ostrom shot a 2-over 74 to come in tied for 34th. Coody, meanwhile, shot even-par 72 with four birdies, two bogies and a double bogey in the final round to slide into third for his third top-three finish of the spring. The Longhorns did not have a golfer shoot under par in the final round.

Texas’ heartbreaking performance in the third round caused the Longhorns to slip into a tie for fourth with Florida as it was unable to keep pace with an Oklahoma squad which propelled itself to 5-under for the tournament. Texas finished seven strokes behind third-place Florida State and eight strokes behind second-place Georgia Tech.

But the Longhorns won’t have much time to mourn their final-day meltdown. Texas is slated to travel to College Station for the three-day Aggie Invitational at Traditions Golf Club beginning Friday. The Longhorns will then have a two-week rest after the Aggie Invitational before traveling to Hutchinson, Kansas, for the Big 12 Championships on April 26.