SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns men’s golf team won the national championship Wednesday at Grayhawk Country Club.
The Longhorns, seeded fourth in the match play tournament, topped seventh-seeded Arizona State after junior Travis Vick nearly buried a long birdie putt on the 18th hole. Arizona State conceded the hole before Vick’s kick-in par to claim the title 3-2.
It’s Texas’ first title since Jordan Spieth and Dylan Frittelli led the team to a championship 10 years ago in 2012, and the Longhorns became the third school in the match play era to win multiple national titles.
It’s the Longhorns’ fourth-ever national title, regardless of format. Texas won back-to-back national titles in 1971 and 1972 led by Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite.
Senior twins Parker and Pierceson Coody picked up points in the title match before Vick clinched it. Parker Coody crushed ASU’s James Loew in his match 6 and 5, and Pierceson picked up a win over Preston Summerhays, a standout freshman for the Sun Devils, 2 and 1.
Pierceson hit a short but tricky birdie putt on the 17th hole to seal the point.
“I putted well,” Pierceson said on the Golf Channel broadcast. “I really can say I didn’t miss a putt. It’s tough reading these greens, and that last putt, I knew it was going in. I trusted my line and that last birdie made all the difference.”
Senior Cole Hammer, who won both his quarterfinal and semifinal matches Tuesday, dropped his title round match to Mason Andersen 3 and 2. Arizona State’s David Puig needed 19 holes to beat UT’s Mason Nome.
Vick was 1-up headed to the 18th hole against ASU’s Cameron Sisk, and he hit a 3-wood off the tee that striped the fairway and settled in just below a fairway bunker, setting up an approach shot with a clean look at the green. Sisk hit his tee shot into the right-side rough next to the bunker.
Vick’s approach settled on the backside of the 18th green for a birdie attempt, and Sisk hit his second shot into a greenside bunker. Sisk hit a nice shot out of the sand to force Vick to two-putt for the win, and the sophomore nearly drained the long putt that would have put an exclamation point on the win. The putt came up inches short, but it didn’t matter because all Vick needed to do was two-putt to win.
“It’s hard to put into words what this feels like, it has been such a long road.” Vick said. “The Arizona State fans were pretty brutal out there, I was getting heckled quite a bit.”
Vick asked head coach John Fields to walk with him during the match because the Sun Devils fans were trying their hardest to get under his skin. Fields reminded Vick to tap into his baseball and football background — sports that are known for constant heckling and trash-talking.
“Winning a national title at Texas is very special,” Fields said. “It puts a lot of pressure on you. I’m really proud of them, my assistant coaches. The final round of medal play was the best round I’ve ever seen, and best I’ve ever coached, and it helped get us through here.”
The format for the NCAA golf championships consists of four stroke-play rounds where a medalist is crowned, and the top eight teams advance to a match play tournament to determine the team national championship.
Given the history of men’s golf at Texas, Fields made quite a statement when he called his “three amigos,” — the Coody twins and Hammer — “three of the best to ever play at Texas.”
“We’re going to miss them,” an emotional Fields said after the match. “They’re three of the best people on the planet.”
Texas was the third team from the Big 12 Conference to win the national championship since 2019, joining Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Longhorns finished second in 2018-19. Arizona State was the host school for the tournament.