Jack Nicklaus

Jordan Spieth continues to shine, Nicklaus still adding to resume

Over the holidays, golfers spent time competing at the Australian Open.  With part of the Open redesigned by Jack Nicklaus and, also, a rule change played the course as a par-71 for the first time, some golfers could've been distactraced.        

However, the changes did not hinder former UT golfer, Jordan Spieth.  Spieth has already impressed on the PGA Tour and Ryder Cup play but showed even more at this tournament. 

In the final round, Spieth finished with a score of 8-under-par 63 and a total of 13-under-par 271, becoming the first American to win the Australian Open since Brad Faxon in 1993.  

Adam Scott, an Australian native, finished in fifth place and nine strokes behind while defending champion, Rory McIlroy, finished with 2-over and fifteen strokes behind Spieth.  With McIlroy’s great ending to last season to be golf’s number 1 player, he is struggling to get back in the swing. 

Three Australians, Rod Pampling, Greg Chalmers, and Brett Rumford, earned spots for next July’s Open Championship.  The Australian Open is the first qualifying tournament for the 2015 Open Championship as it offers three spots to the top finishers who are not already exempt.     

Jack Nicklaus added his own spark to the tournament redesigning the course.  As he continues course designs and is remembered for his 18 titles, Nicklaus is about to receive one more award. 

Nicklaus is set to receive Congress’ civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal after legalization for the award was cleared late Monday night and waiting to be signed by President Barack Obama. 

Nicklaus won the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.  By earning the Congressional Gold Medal, he and Arnold Palmer are the only golfers to win both awards.  Other recipients of this award include Rosa Parks, Robert Frost, Joe Louis and Neil Armstrong.   

Men's golf

So far, in two 15-team tournaments this season, the No. 8 UT men’s golf team has finished in the fifth and sixth spots. The Longhorns look to build upon that strong start as they travel to Columbus, Ohio to compete in the Jack Nicklaus Invitational at Scioto Country Club, Oct. 11-12.

Nicklaus, widely regarded as the best golfer of all time, learned to play at Scioto, which gives the trip to Columbus the feel of one-part golf tournament, other-part field trip to one of the more important and historical golf courses in America.

“The course is the home of Jack Nicklaus,” said head coach John Fields. “We have not played there, but we know it’s a great, old golf course. We’re looking forward to playing in this tournament, and it has another great field of teams.”

In another competitive field, Texas will have to fight No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 3 LSU, and No. 7 Illinois.

Texas’ best hopes rest on its trifecta of stars: senior Bobby Hudson, junior Dylan Frittelli and sophomore Cody Gribble. All have had bright moments this year, as each have finished in the top-15 individually at one of the two tournaments. Gribble, the youngest of the group, has earned praise from his coach.

“Gribble jumps out there as the leader of our team this week because he was our low man at [the previous tournament at] Karsten Creek,” Fields said. “He came back with a pair of 70s in the final round, and if you haven’t played there, you may not understand how extraordinary that is. That is great golf.”

So far, in two 15-team tournaments this season, the No. 8 UT men’s golf team has finished in the fifth and sixth spots. The Longhorns look to build upon that strong start as they travel to Columbus, Ohio to compete in the Jack Nicklaus Invitational at Scioto Country Club, Oct. 11-12.

Nicklaus, widely regarded as the best golfer of all time, learned to play at Scioto, which gives the trip to Columbus the feel of one-part golf tournament, other-part field trip to one of the more important and historical golf courses in America.

“The course is the home of Jack Nicklaus,” said head coach John Fields. “We have not played there, but we know it’s a great, old golf course. We’re looking forward to playing in this tournament, and it has another great field of teams.”

In another competitive field, Texas will have to fight No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 3 LSU, and No. 7 Illinois.

Texas’ best hopes rest on its trifecta of stars: senior Bobby Hudson, junior Dylan Frittelli and sophomore Cody Gribble. All have had bright moments this year, as each have finished in the top-15 individually at one of the two tournaments. Gribble, the youngest of the group, has earned praise from his coach.

“Gribble jumps out there as the leader of our team this week because he was our low man at [the previous tournament at] Karsten Creek,” Fields said. “He came back with a pair of 70s in the final round, and if you haven’t played there, you may not understand how extraordinary that is. That is great golf.”