No. 15 Texas’ last outing at the Valspar Collegiate Championship ended in less than stellar fashion. The Longhorns pulled out a disappointing ninth-place finish in the tournament, finishing 22 strokes off the lead.
The lone bright spot for the Longhorns was senior Doug Ghim, who came in sixth place as an individual with a 5-under-par showing over three days of play. Senior Scottie Scheffler also had a decent outing, finishing tied for ninth at 1-under par for the tournament.
“Doug and Scottie were very close to a great tournament,” Texas head coach John Fields said. “We need more production from our three-through-five men, and they are capable.”
This week, Texas travels to Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, California, for the Western Intercollegiate Championship, being held Saturday and Sunday.
Texas needs a strong performance in Santa Cruz to build some momentum for the upcoming Big 12 Championships.
The Longhorns will be short-handed this weekend as their star senior and most consistent player in Ghim is competing in his first Masters Tournament at Augusta National. Ghim and three other former Longhorns in the field — Jordan Spieth, Dylan Frittelli and Jhonattan Vegas.
Ghim’s absence in Santa Cruz will be a heavy burden on Texas. Ghim leads the Longhorns with a 69.9 stroke average through seven events. Seventeen of his 21 total rounds this season have been at or under par, including ten rounds in the 60s.
“When you don’t have one of your best players, it obviously makes a difference,” Texas assistant coach Jean-Paul Hebert said. “But you know, it’s golf, and some other guys have got a chance, so you never know.”
Without Ghim, Scheffler will be tasked with leading the team. Scheffler is more than capable of shooting low scores at Pasatiempo Golf Club. He won the event three years ago during the 2015 season.
“I think he is mature enough to know that that was then, and this is now,” Hebert said, “And ‘I can’t put pressure on myself because I’ve had success here in the past, but I can do my part and go try and play some good golf and see what happens.’”