Senior Dylan Fritelli made a birdie putt on the final hole of competition to win the deciding match against Alabama and claim the NCAA Division I Nationl Golf Championship. It has been 40 years since the Kite-Crenshaw lead Texas teams won the national championships for Texas in 1971 & 1972.
The drama built when Tony Hakula lost his match on the final hole and Julio Vegas, exhausted from the previous day's efforts, lost his match early. With Cody Gribble and Jordan Spieth's matches in the bag for the Longhorns, the score was even at two points for the Longhorns and two for the Alabama Crimson Tide.
With Fritelli on the 18th green in regulation and his opponent Cory Whitsett over the green in two, the match and the title was leaning toward the Longhorns. When Whitsett of whiffed his third shot while attempting a difficult flop shot from the deep greenside rough, things looked good for Texas. Fritelli only needed two putts to win the match and the national championship. He made the putt for the birdie and Texas claimed the national championship.
After being ranked #1 for most of the season, Texas survived several close calls in the match play portion of the tournament to advance to the finals. For example, in the semi-finals Julio Vegas birdied the last three holes to win the deciding match and allow the Longhorns to advance to the finals.
The Longhorn effort was a year long team effort with all the members contributing significant wins. For example, Cody Gribble, who had alternated in the fifth spot on the team with Alex Moon, won his matches in the semi-finals and the finals.
Congratulations to Coach John Fields, Assistant Coach Ryan Murphy and all the Texas players who contributed throughout the season. Go Longhorns…..