FAYETTEVILLE, AR (KXAN) — No. 5 Texas pulled off the biggest upset of the NCAA Golf Tournament, but Stanford claimed the largest prize winning the national championship over the Longhorns Wednesday morning at Blessings Golf Club in Arkansas.
Texas and Stanford teed off for the title just a little over 10 hours after the Longhorns knocked off No. 1 Oklahoma State in the NCAA semifinals Tuesday. Stanford earned the championship with a 3-2 match victory winning the first three pairings of the round.
Henry Shimp won the clincher on the 17th green against Longhorn junior Spencer Soosman winning the point 2 & 1.
A Stanford team made up mostly of juniors and seniors used their experience to beat the Longhorns’ superstar freshmen class. Although, without freshmen Cole Hammer and twin brothers, Pierceson and Parker Coody, Texas wouldn’t have reached the ultimate stage.
The Cardinal seniors earned the other two necessary points with Brandon Wu defeating Pierceson Coody and Isaiah Salinda defeating Hammer.
“There’s a lot of teams in Division I golf that would love to be in our position right now. So as much as it stings us as competitors, having done this for a long time, I know that what we’ve accomplished this week is not the norm and that it was outstanding,” Texas coach John Fields said.
After leading the charge against Oklahoma State, Hammer wasn’t able to keep the momentum rolling against Stanford’s No. 1 player, Salinda. The match was tight until the back-nine when Salinda pulled away for a 4 & 3 win.
Hammer won an emotional match against Oklahoma State Tuesday night, surprising the NCAA individual champion Matthew Wolff in the semifinals 4 & 3.
“Beating Oklahoma State was unbelievable. We definitely weren’t favored, and the way it all went down me getting Matt and then the way Steven’s finished up at the end, it definitely took a lot of energy out of us. But there’s no reason that that carried over to today,” Hammer said.
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UT coach John Fields should be excited about the prospects for the future with four of his five match play participants expected to return for the 2020 season. The three Longhorn freshmen gained invaluable experience in high-pressure situations after a week at the National Championships.
“We were ready to play today. We just got beat by a really good golf team. That’s all there is to it. It will fire us up for next year,” Fields said.
The Longhorns didn’t win their first tournament of the season until running away with the Austin Regional by 20 strokes two weeks ago. Fields said the team brought that momentum to the national tournament.
NCAA Championship Finals
Stanford wins match 3-2
|No. 5 Texas||Result||No. 6 Stanford|
|Spencer Soosman||STAN wins 2 & 1||Henry Shimp|
|Cole Hammer||STAN wins 4 & 3||Isaiah Salinda|
|Pierceson Coody||STAN wins 4 & 3||Brandon Wu|
|Parker Coody||TEX wins 6 & 5||Daulet Tuleubayev|
|Steven Chervony||TEX wins 1 Up||David Snyder|