Despite shooting an 8-over-par 288 in the final round, the Longhorns won their first Big 12 Championship since 2004 on Wednesday.
“Anytime a golf tournament says ‘championship,’ it’s a big deal,” head coach John Fields said. “And the Big 12 Championship, for the University of Texas and our athletic department is a very big deal. We don’t take it lightly.”
The Longhorns came into the final day of competition with only a six-shot lead over Oklahoma State. But the Cowboys had troubles of their own, shooting a 6-over-286 in the final round.
Because of inclement weather, the tournament was shortened from four to three rounds. On Monday, rain caused an hour-long rain delay during the first round and forced six teams to finish their second rounds Wednesday.
Freshman Brandon Stone took home the individual championship , edging Oklahoma State’s Talor Gooch by three strokes with an even-par 210 during the week. His second round score of a 3-under-67 was tied for the lowest individual round score of the tournament. Senior Cody Gribble finished the tournament in a tie for third, five shots off of Stone’s pace with a 5-over-215. Sophomore Kramer Hickok finished tied for tenth with an 8-over-218.
Texas had a rough start to the tournament after shooting a 10-over-290 in the first round. In the second round, however, the Longhorns took over the lead with a 1-over-281 and were one of the few teams to finish their second round on Monday.
The Big XII championship is Texas’ first since 2004, which was the end of three straight conference championships. In those seasons, however, the Longhorns finished no higher than tied for third in the NCAA Championship. Despite winning the national championship last season, Texas finished in second the Big 12 Championship behind Texas A&M.
Texas will compete next in the NCAA Regional Championship May 16-18 at a site to be determined. If the Longhorns advance, they will look to defend their national championship at Capital City Club in Atlanta, Georgia May 28 through June 2.