John Fields

Photo Credit: Anthony Mireles | Daily Texan Staff

With the sun beginning to set in the background, Dylan Frittelli set up on the far left end of the practice range at Austin Country Club in the early evening on Thursday. The 27-year-old former Longhorn hit balls as his swing coach, Chuck Cook, kept a watchful eye.

The past two days at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play hadn’t been exactly what Frittelli desired. He had lost his first two matches, effectively eliminating him from advancing to the knockout round, which begins Saturday.

But Frittelli still had a smile on his face and was upbeat as he beat balls into the range.

“There’s a lot to reflect on,” Frittelli said. “A lot of good stuff, in with a few bad things. I’m still gonna look favorably over the last two days.”

Frittelli had a much different view of this tournament last year. At the time the Johannesburg, South Africa, native was ranked 190th in the world. Only the top 64 in the world qualify for the event. But Frittelli still attended last year’s tournament as a spectator.

This year, though, after two wins in 2017 on the European Tour, he’s right where he expected to be — inside the ropes — a place few thought possible.

“I mean I told a lot of people — I know tons of people. I was running into them. I said I'll be here next year. I'll be playing in this tournament,” Frittelli said in his Monday press conference. “People looked at me: ‘You're 190 in the world, that's hard to get to 64.’ It was a goal I set myself. I kept on telling people, and self affirmation. The more I told myself, the more I started to believe it.”

After losing to world No. 24 Xander Schauffele, 1 down, on Wednesday, Frittelli needed a win on Thursday to stay alive in group play. His opponent was a familiar face — Sergio Garcia, last year’s Masters champion, and someone who Frittelli befriended over a year ago.

“Yes, we are friends, but we are both trying our hardest to beat each other,” Garcia said. “Obviously it's always a little bit more enjoyable when you are good friends with your opponent.”

The crowd on Thursday seemed to be pulling for both players equally — it would’ve been a hard decision one way or the other. Frittelli, while not a big name in professional golf, helped deliver the Longhorns a national championship in 2012. A guy named Jordan Spieth was Frittelli’s teammate at Texas.

“I had lots of fans out there. It was awesome,” Frittelli said. “Dream come true for me.”

Garcia, meanwhile, has recently become a popular face within the Austin golf scene. Last summer, he married former UT golfer Angela Atkins. The two just had their first baby last week.

On Thursday, it was about as Longhorn of a crowd as it gets. UT men’s golf coach John Fields and UT women’s soccer coach Angela Kelly followed the match. Multiple current UT golfers followed as well, including Scottie Scheffler and the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, Sophia Schubert.

And then of course, there was Matthew McConaughey, who walked inside the ropes.

“I showed the ‘Hook ‘em’ to him, and Matthew responded with a casual ‘Hook ‘em,’” Frittelli said.

Frittelli built a 2-up lead over Garcia on the front nine but then faltered on the back. Garcia made birdies at the par-4 10th and par-5 12th to square the match. Frittelli hit each of his approach shots in the water on the short par-4 13th and the par-4 14th, and he quickly found himself 2 down to Garcia.

“I played really well through that front nine. And I guess that drive from the ninth green over to the 10th tee kind of just sucked all the life out of me,” Frittelli said. “I didn’t seem to have anything on the back nine.”

Frittelli made a crucial par save at the par-4 15th, birdied the par-5 16th and made a critical 7-footer for par at the par-3 17th to keep the match alive. He was 1 down to Garcia when he arrived at the par-4 18th. Garcia drove the green and two-putted for birdie, while Frittelli made par, giving the Spaniard a 2-up win.

“I love playing with him. He’s a great guy,” said Frittelli, who’s played multiple rounds in Austin with Garcia before. “He’s one of the best players in the history of the game.”

Frittelli has one more match left in Austin. He plays India’s Shubhankar Sharma on Friday at 11:31 a.m.

“Hopefully I can just pull ahead and win early tomorrow,” Frittelli said. “My goal is to beat the traffic on 360 — finish in three hours and hopefully get out of here before the traffic starts.”

Photo Credit: Stephanie Martinez-Arndt | Daily Texan Staff

It's been an entire month since No. 17 Texas last hit the links for competitive collegiate golf at the Amer Invitational in Hawaii.

Texas started hot in Hawaii, leading the field after day one of action. But the Longhorns could not keep that momentum up for the remainder of the tournament and slid back to finish fourth overall.

“Hawaii is a good way to start the spring,” Texas head coach John Fields said. “The team had a number of good things happen, and we know what we need to work at to be as competitive as we believe we can be.”

During the gap between team play, several Texas individuals posted some big accomplishments. Senior Doug Ghim was recently named to both the Ben Hogan Award Watch List and the Golfweek Haskins Award Watch List.

Senior Scottie Scheffler won the Genesis Open Collegiate Showcase with a 3-under 68 to qualify for the Genesis Open, although he did not make the weekend cut at the PGA Tour event.

On Sunday, the Longhorns travel to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for the Querencia Cabo Collegiate. The tournament field will showcase 16 other teams, eight of which are currently ranked in the top 25 in the nation.

The Longhorns will need strong showings from the senior duo of Scheffler and Ghim as well as sophomore Spencer Soosman, who finished just three strokes back of the individual champion at the Ameri Invitational.

“Those three guys are basically the strength of our team right now,” Fields said. “What we’ve got to do is do a great job coaching our guys and giving them the best opportunity to be prepared when we get to a golf tournament.”

This is the first week that Scheffler and Ghim will be playing competitive golf with the pressures of the added awards and watchlists on their shoulders, but Fields is expecting them to shine in the added spotlight.

“They know for them, it’s just paying attention to business,” Fields said. “When they’re in competition, it’s just playing one shot at a time. When they’re playing, it does them no good to be distracted, and they’re disciplined enough to deal with those things.”

Texas will tee off in the first day of the tournament on Sunday with hopes to improve on its fifth place finish at last year’s Querencia Cabo Collegiate at Los Cabos Querencia Course.

After a disappointing end to its 2014 season, the Texas team has its eyes on a national championship.   

“We started the year with a team that can compete for a national championship, and that hasn’t changed,” head coach John Fields said.

Texas finally starts its four-month journey to a potential title this weekend at the Amer Ari/Big Island Intercollegiate Golf Tournament in Waikoloa, Hawaii. The beautiful island setting will serve as merely a backdrop for the Longhorns, who are looking for their first title since 2012. 

No. 5 Texas boasts a roster capable of finding its way to the National Championship in Florida this May. 

Sophomore Beau Hossler and freshman Doug Ghim highlight the 12-person team. Both were selected to the All-Amateur team, which is made up of the 20 best amateur golfers from around the world. 

Hossler secured first-team honors after winning the Western Amateur and placing second at the Porter Cup. Ghim earned second-team recognition following runner-up honors at the U.S. Amateur Public Links and after advancing to the round of 64 at the U.S. Amateur. 

“Beau Hossler has absolutely had a great role this year, even better than when he was a freshman,” Fields said. “He had a great summer, along with his teammate Doug Ghim, who had an exceptional summer as well.”

Freshmen Taylor Funk and Scottie Scheffler, along with senior Kramer Hickok, join Hossler and Ghim to round out the five-man team lineup for the Big Island Intercollegiate. 

“Those are the five spots right now, but the lineup fluctuates week-to-week to promote competition within the team,” Fields said.  “Essentially right now, Hossler and Ghim are showing they will maintain where they are, and the fifth spot will typically move week-to-week.”

Among those competing for the fifth spot on the five-man team are redshirt juniors Will Griffin and Tayler Termeer and redshirt senior Brax McCarthy. The three will compete in the Big Island tournament this week as individuals, and aren’t far from finding their way into the lineup for the Longhorns. 

“We have eight players in the event for us this week,” Fields said. “This gives us the best opportunity to stay sharp and elevate the team.”

This weekend marks a starting point on the road to a national championship for Texas. And with the necessary tools to compete, the Longhorns have a promising opportunity ahead of them.

“We can have success, and winning the U.S. Collegiate Championship last fall in Georgia was proof of that,” Fields said. “Our goal is to come together and win championships.”

Men's golf

The No. 4 men’s golf team finished in sixth place after three rounds of competition in the season opening OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational on Sunday.

After finishing 28 over par as a team Friday, Texas overcame its tough first round, battling back and finishing with a final score total of 892 (308-288-296).  

“I am happy that we followed a very rough first round with two solid rounds,” head coach John Fields said. “We have a lot of respect for Olympia Fields and our new freshmen are now acquainted with the demands of collegiate golf.”

Sophomore Gavin Hall (76-70-71) led the Longhorns, tying for eighth place overall individually. Freshmen Doug Ghim, Scottie Scheffler and Taylor Funk finished their first collegiate tournament 23rd, 42nd and 57th, respectively.

“This was an education this week for players and coaches alike,” Fields said. “We will be better next time out. I was thrilled with Gavin Hall’s top-10 finish. He was a solid player for us.”

The Longhorns resume competition at the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational at Colonial Country Club from October 5-7 in Fort Worth.

Men's tennis

Men’s tennis began individual competition this weekend at the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational in Midland.

Senior Jacoby Lewis, junior Michael Riechmann, redshirt freshman William Jou and freshman John Mee competed over the weekend in the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational, which was continuously altered due to rainy weather.

Only 14 of the 126 scheduled matches were completed Friday. To get back on schedule, singles players played eight-game pro sets while doubles players played six-game sets. On Friday, Mee won his first collegiate match against Rice sophomore Zach Yablon (6-4, 6-3), and Lewis lost to New Mexico freshman Bart Van Leijsen (6-3, 6-4).

Lewis bounced back in consolation play with an 8-5 win over Rice senior Srikar Alla before falling to UT-Arlington sophomore Mario Muniesa 8-5.

Riechmann, who transferred from Brown, also landed in the consolation bracket after an 8-1 round of 16 upset against Wichita State senior Tomislav Gregurovic. He responded with a solid 8-2 win over Texas A&M sophomore Max Lunkin and a tight 8-5 win over Lamar sophomore Michael Feucht. Jou opened his singles play with an 8-5 victory over Texas Tech freshman Hunter Holman, but fell 8-5 in the second round to Henry Adams, Abilene Christian University freshman. 

In doubles play, the Longhorns started strong before falling in the quarterfinals. Riechmann and Jou, who received a bye as the top seed, defeated the Wichita State duo of freshman Miroslav Herzan and sophomore Jocelyn Devilliers 6-4, but lost 6-2 to the tandem of sophomores Frankie Colunga and Lunkin of Texas A&M. Lewis and Mee defeated Rice’s duo of sophomore Henrik Munch and junior Gustavo Gonzalez in a 7-6 thriller before losing to the duo of senior James Hignett and Leijsen of New Mexico, 6-4.

The invitational was cancelled because of foul weather before a winner in singles or doubles was declared. The Longhorns will begin play again at the Cajun Tennis Classic on Thursday in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Women's soccer

The undefeated Longhorns rode a wave of confidence into Tampa, Florida, for the USF Soccer Classic on Friday. However, a lightning-delayed bout against Central Florida and a bruising contest against South Florida made for a rough weekend at the beach, leaving Texas with its first two losses of the season.

Missed opportunities defined Friday’s 2-0 loss at the hands of Central Florida. Despite 10 shots from Central Florida in the first half, both teams entered the break knotted up at 0-0.

The Knights responded with a goal less than three minutes after the break and added another after an hour and 45-minute lightning delay. In the second half, Texas launched 10 shots to Central Florida’s five, but none hit the back of the net.

South Florida doled out another 2-0 loss to the Longhorns on Sunday morning. By the time the final whistle blew, the refs had called 20 fouls and handed out three
yellow cards. 

The Bulls started the scoring in the 32nd minute after a collision momentarily pushed Texas junior keeper Abby Smith out of the goal and led to an easy point for the Bulls. A South Florida penalty kick midway through the second half sealed Texas’ loss. 

The Longhorns look to bounce back after a disappointing weekend when they face No. 1 UCLA, the defending national champion, at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Austin.

Competing in the Big 12 Championship this weekend, the men's and women's golf teams finished first and second respectively in the conference. Junior Kramer Hickok and sophomore Natalie Karcher, pictured above, led the teams' runs. 

Photo Credit: (left) Photo courtesy of Texas Sports (right) Joe Capraro | Daily Texan Staff

Men’s golf grabs second consecutive Big 12 crown

The Longhorns overcame a one-shot deficit Sunday afternoon to claim their second Big 12 Championship crown in a row. 

No. 18 Texas defeated weekend rival Texas Tech to finish the tournament with a three-stroke lead, giving the Longhorns their fifth overall Big 12 title and bringing them into the fold of Texas’ Big 12 2013/2014 champions, including volleyball, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis and women’s indoor track and field. 

The Longhorns were led by surging freshman Beau Hossler, who ended the weekend with an even-par score, tying with Oklahoma State’s Talor Gooch for third place. Hossler finished in the top 10 along with senior Toni Hakula, who tied for fifth, and junior Kramer Hickok and fellow junior Brax McCarthy, who shared the tie for ninth place with six other golfers. 

Freshman Gavin Hall rounded out the Texas team, coming in with a tie for 21st.

Hossler led the team all weekend, finally seeing his hard work through the season reach fruition. 

“It’s come a long way, it had been frustrating because I wasn’t seeing results until the last three or four weeks,” Hossler said. “I’m enjoying playing for this team because I’m around a lot of really competitive guys, and that’s only helped me improve as a player. It’s nice to get [a win] under our belts and prove we can do it.”

Head coach John Fields, who has seen plenty of success in his career at Texas, knows that this win can serve as important momentum for the last two tournaments. Fields said he is proud of his team’s performance. 

“This was hard-fought,” Fields said. “This whole entire season has been a mixed bag for us in regards to overcoming a lot of obstacles. We had Kramer’s [right wrist] injury to begin the year, and our guys have persevered and worked hard. I’m super excited for them. I’m excited for our program.” 

Fields also said he knows exactly what the win really means: on to the next one. 

“Now we’ll enjoy this for a few minutes and then we’ll get ready for the NCAA Regional and NCAA Championship,” Fields said.

The Longhorns will head out for the NCAA Regional Championships May 15-17, at a site to be announced. 

—James Grandberry

Women’s golf finishes second in Big 12

With determination, skill and persistence, the sixth-seeded Longhorns outplayed tough Big 12 opponents to finish second in the Big 12 Championship this weekend. 

Competing on their home course at the University of Texas Golf Club, the team recorded a collective 878 on the weekend, 17 strokes behind first-place Oklahoma. 

Breaking Texas’ previous 2011 record of 872, the Sooners shot an 861 to take home their third Big 12 title.

Sophomore Natalie Karcher led the Longhorns throughout the weekend. Karcher fired a career low-69, in Saturday’s second round, leading the individual leaderboard and propelling the team into second place overall, two spots ahead of its Round 1 finish.

The team remained consistent throughout the final round on Sunday, shooting a collective 292. Baylor rounded out the top-three with a score 884 on the weekend.

Selections for the NCAA Regionals will be announced Monday afternoon during Golf Central, Golf Channel’s daily signature news show, with dedicated segments airing throughout.

—Caroline Hall

After three torn tendons ended the first half of his junior season six months ago, Kramer Hickock is back and looking better than ever. 

During his summer of amateur golf in 2013, Hickock began to feel a slight pain in his right wrist. In a display of toughness, Hickock played through the pain until it became too much to struggle through.

Hickock would eventually find out that he had torn three tendons in his right wrist, arguably the most important joint in a golfer’s swing. 

“I was playing so well I didn’t want to even think about there being an injury,” Hickock said. “In hindsight, I guess I should’ve slowed things down after feeling that little tweak.” 

John Fields, who has coached the Longhorn men’s golf team since 1997, was also hoping that Hickock’s wrist pain was only superficial.

“Kramer has the tendency to work extremely hard,” Fields said. “So, at that point, I was just hoping that it was overuse, that it was something that he could take some time off and just be fine.” 

Hickock did take the necessary time off in order for the wrist to heal properly, undergoing doctor visits and a blood-spinning procedure meant to increase the amount of platelets the blood can contain.

Fields, who has led Texas to three top-five finishes at the NCAA Championships and five top-10 appearances in the final national rankings, noticed how much his team struggled without Hickock on the course.

“It’s just harder on everybody,” Fields said. “You have expectations and desires that are difficult to fulfill when somebody as great as Kramer Hickock is out of your lineup.” 

Hickock hit only low-impact putt and chip shots in the meantime, and by the time the hiatus was over, one of Texas’ most crucial players had missed nearly six months of golf. 

But except for a taped-up wrist, most people would not know that.

Hickock has come back from the injury to set up a series of impressive finishes in the Longhorns’ past five tournaments, including three top-10 performances. 

After only one tournament back in action, Hickock carded a career-best tie for second place at the Bayou City Intercollegiate Championship in Humble, in late February. Hickock also finished tied for sixth at the Schenkel Invitational in Statesboro, Ga., in mid-March.

Hickock’s most recent outing with the team, the 3M Augusta Invitational last weekend, yielded his third top-10 finish in the last five competitions, where he was part of a three-man tie for eighth place.

“He played great over the summer and now in the spring he’s been playing great,” senior Toni Hakula said. “We knew we didn’t have the strongest fall and we knew once he got back he would be a solid part of the team.” 

Hakula was a sophomore on the 2012 NCAA championship team, and he knows what the stakes are at this point in the season.

“All the focus is on late May,” Hakula said. “Going to the national championship, getting closer and closer, and I think everyone’s getting sharper.” 

With Hickock back in the five-man competing squad, Texas has quickly built up some momentum, racking up three top-five team finishes in its last five tournaments. 

Hickock, Hakula and Fields all believe a national championship run is in the cards for this season.

“I really think if we get a win in one of these next few tournaments and get some momentum going into the Big 12 Championship, Regionals and the NCAAs … we can definitely win the national championship,” Hickock said.

Looking at the progress that the team has made so far, the future is promising for Texas. If Hickock stays healthy and the team can stay hot, another championship is certainly within reach. 

Photo Credit: UT Athletics | Daily Texan Staff

When senior Toni Hakula began his career at Texas in the fall of 2010, he was just a kid from Espoo, Finland, trying to adjust to life in America.

“It was different, the whole culture change and trying to live by myself here,” Hakula said. “It definitely took a toll the first year.”

Now, more than three years later, Hakula is in the beginning of what is his final season at Texas — a fact that he said is hard to believe. But as the only remaining player from the championship run just two years ago and the only true senior on the team, the time has come for Hakula to fully assert himself as the leader. 

“He’s got tremendous ability,” head coach John Fields said. “He is extremely intelligent … he leads by example and is a fabulous person.”

In his career at Texas, Hakula has appeared in 34 tournaments, playing 104 rounds of amateur competition. He has an average score of 73.31 and has finished in the 60s nine times, with 36 par or better performances. 

More than his game value though, Fields said it is Hakula’s experience that makes him a true asset to the No. 3 ranked team in the nation. He said the fact that Hakula was a part of the Longhorns’ 2012 championship gives him the type of pedigree and leadership that can be passed down to the rest of his team.  

And if Hakula were to help lead the Longhorns to another championship, there is no question his footprint would be cemented in the history of notable Texas players. Behind him stands the support of teammates like Brax McCarthy, who said Hakula knows what it takes to play team golf at the highest collegiate level.

“He is a hard working guy,” McCarthy said. “He is always out there practicing, playing and just leading by example.”

Hakula’s senior season is important for many reasons. Among one is the impact it will have in determining what kind of future he will have beyond Texas. Hakula said he plans on pursuing golf on the professional level, starting on the Web.com Tour or European Tour and eventually the PGA Tour. It is a goal both his teammates and coach believe he is more than capable of accomplishing.

“He’s got that ability and that opportunity,” Fields said. “Absolutely I expect to see him on both [the European Tour and PGA Tour].”

For now, Hakula said he is solely focused on winning a championship and improving from last season, where he felt he left a lot out on the course. Passing the torch to his younger sister and women’s player, freshman Anne Hakula, will also be a task the senior golfer will embark on. After all, he said, it is only right to keep the Hakula name alive in Texas golf.

“I’m looking forward to having her this year,” Hakula said. “I’ll be coming back now and then to watch her progress the next few years.”

Currently playing at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate in Vastavia Hills, Ala., the Longhorns are in third place after Monday’s first two rounds of competition, finishing with a four-over-par 564 overall score. Hakula notched a two-under-par 68 in first round and a four-over-par 74 in the second round. He will tee off at 9:10 a.m. in Tuesday’s final round as he and the rest of the team hope to catch Alabama and Texas A&M, who currently hold the top two spots.

“It is about taking it one day at a time and one shot at a time,” Hakula said. “As long as everyone does that, it is going to be good for the
whole team.”

 

Julio Vegas followed his brother to Texas and is now the only senior on this year’s squad and one of five retuners from last year’s championship team. Vegas helped lead Texas to a national title this past summer and is looking for another one. 

Photo Credit: Derek Stout | Daily Texan Staff

Julio Vegas has experienced just about everything during his career with the Texas Longhorns.

Currently in the midst of his fifth season, Vegas has competed in his fair share of regular and postseason golf tournaments, and he has been with Texas long enough to witness the Longhorns jump from an average team to collegiate champions. He is the lone senior on this year’s roster, and his experience, dependable play and remarkable work ethic have allowed him to emerge as one of the Longhorns’ primary leaders.

“One of the main things about this team is that everybody is able to play,” Vegas said. “I just focus on myself and show my teammates how to work hard and how to behave on and off the field. I try to lead by example.”

Vegas grew up in Venezuela and joined the Longhorns in 2008, following in the footsteps of his brother, Jhonattan, who played at Texas from 2004 through 2007. After redshirting his first year and not playing in his freshman season, Vegas made his debut with the Longhorns as a sophomore in 2010 at the PING Preview and became a regular contributor from then on.

Vegas enjoyed a breakout year as a junior in 2011-2012, competing in nearly all of the Longhorns’ events and becoming one of the team’s most consistent and productive players. He recorded an average score of 72.07 per round in 13 tournaments, good for third on the team, and logged his first career event victory at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate. Overall Vegas registered six top 10 finishes last season and was named to the All-Big 12 Team and Golfweek All-American Second Team.

While Vegas’ strides on the golf course were a significant contribution to the Longhorns’ title run last season, the Texas coaching staff believes his devotion to working hard and his hunger for success are what separate the senior from other players.

“Julio is a very special guy as far as players go,” head coach John Fields said. “His work ethic is outstanding, and his confidence is remarkable. He just has such a large desire to be successful, and he is extremely directed toward that in whatever he is doing. A lot of people talk about giving their absolute best, but they’re really only giving 30 or 40 percent. Julio gives the absolute.”

The Texas golfers agree with this and believe that Vegas’ drive makes him a good role model and a strong teammate.

“It’s his last year. We know he wants to make it special, and we want to make it special for him,” junior Toni Hakula said. “You can see it in his demeanor. He is a really hard worker, and he definitely brings something special to the team.”

Vegas credits much of his success in golf to his brother, who is currently competing in the PGA Tour. He believes that Jhonattan Vegas set a strong example in preparing for tournaments through hard work and devotion, and his brother’s glowing reports about Texas were a large part of Vegas’ decision to play here.

“Every time he came back to Venezuela, he told me about Austin and the awesome people and coaches, and that’s a big reason why I came,” Vegas said. “I don’t regret it. It’s been a great experience, and hopefully there will be more great experiences this year.”

At the conclusion of this season, Vegas hopes to follow his brother’s lead once again and play golf professionally. For now, though, the senior is narrowing his focus to this season, seeking to win another title with the Longhorns.

“Our goal is to win another championship,” Vegas said. “After school I’ll try to play pro golf. I’m not sure when it will happen, but I’m putting all of my focus on this year because I’m not sure of what’s in the future.”

The future seems bright for Vegas no matter where he ends up, and this season he could very well end up being the key to another Longhorns title run.

Printed on Friday, October 19, 2012 as: Vegas seeks second title

 

Men’s golf head coach John Fields was recently named the Dave Williams Award winner, presented by the Golf Coaches Association of America. This is Fields’ second coach of the year honor, following his Golfweek Coach of the Year honor, announced June 14.

Along with Fields, senior Dylan Frittelli and freshman Jordan Spieth were named to the All-Nicklaus team Thursday by the GCAA. Because of their outstanding play on the course throughout the 2011-2012 season, Frittelli and Spieth filled two of the 24 spots offered to players of all collegiate divisions of play.

Frittelli had also been named co-recipient of the Byron Nelson award, and along with Spieth, was named to the PING and Golfweek first-team All-American teams, with teammate Julio Vegas earning Golfweek’s third-team honors. Spieth was also a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award and was named Big 12 Freshman and Player of the Year.

Fields and these All-Nicklaus team members were key factors to the Longhorns’ seven tournament victories and the program’s third national title last year.

After one of the most memorable years the University of Texas’s golf program has ever had, accolades are still coming in to the top achievers.

On Thursday, Golfweek announced head coach John Fields as Coach of the Year. Along with winning the national championship, this marked another first in Field’s distinguished 15-year career at the Forty Acres.

“It’s extra special, because you take a lot of shots from your contemporaries,” Fields said. “To have something like this happen, it kind of vindicates you. It’s an opportunity to say, ‘Well, all that hard work paid off.’”

In addition to Fields’ honor, freshman Jordan Spieth and senior Dylan Frittelli were named to the Golfweek first-team All-American squad while junior Julio Vegas was named to second team. The three players were key ingredients to the Longhorns’ third national championship in 2012.