Texas Claims Third-Straight Big 12 Title

By Golf Channel NewsroomApril 28, 2004, 4:00 pm
Courtesy of texassports.com
 
College CentralHUTCHINSON, Kan. - The ninth-ranked Texas men's golf team won an unprecedented third-straight Big 12 men's golf title on Tuesday, using senior Jason Hartwick's nine-stroke victory and medalist performance as a stepping stone to the win at the Prairie Dunes Golf Course (6,598 yards, par 70).
 
Texas defeated the runner-up, No. 20 Oklahoma, by six strokes and third-place finisher, No. 7 Oklahoma State, by nine strokes. UT is now the only program to win three Big 12 titles in a row, and is one of only two league teams to win back-to-back championships.
 
In honor of the men's team's title, the University of Texas Tower, located on the UT campus, will be lit orange on Thursday, April 30.
 
Texas and Oklahoma State, teams which were paired together along with fourth-place finisher Kansas State for the final round, stayed neck and neck on the first nine holes before Texas came away with the win on the final five holes of play. Texas was 25-over with an 864 (287-290-287), while OU finished second at 30-over with an 870 (295-292-283). OU's final round of 283 was the best 18-hole score of the tournament, lifting the Sooners into second from fourth where they started the day. Oklahoma State finished at 33-over with an 873 (292-285-296).
 
Hartwick became Texas' second Big 12 medalist, following David Gossett's 1999 championship. Hartwick shot a six-under 204 (70-66-68) and was the only golfer under par in the tournament. He shot two of the only five rounds under par in the championship after firing an even-par round of 70 on the first 18 holes. He defeated runner-up Anthony Kim of Oklahoma by nine shots as Kim fired a three-over 213 (76-70-67).
 
'Today was as exciting as college golf can get,' Texas head coach John Fields said after his team's victory. 'With about four or five holes to play, it was really too close to figure out who was leading, but we thought we might be one stroke up. All five guys got word of what was happening in the other groups and they all stepped up and took control of the opening that was created for us.
 
'Having won three times in a row says a lot about our program. Any time any team can win three times in a row, with the caliber of competition we have in the Big 12, you know you have something special. We can't take anything for granted and we have to be appreciative of winning the ways we have. A lot of teams had the feeling they could win this tournament this year, and I know a lot of the team's really wanted to win. But we came out relaxed, played the best we could and just let the outcome figure itself out,' Fields concluded.
 
Coupled with the Texas women's golf team's Big 12 title on Sunday, Texas becomes the first school to win both the men's and women's league title in Big 12 history.
 
With the victory at the Big 12 Championship, the Longhorns earned the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. The team will next compete in the NCAA Regional Tournament, Thursday-Sunday, May 20-22, from which the top teams and individuals will advance to the NCAA Championship, hosted by Virginia Tech at The Homestead Cascades Course in Hot Springs, Va., June 1-4. Seedings and selections for the three NCAA Regionals will be announced at a later date.
 

Final Team Results
1. Texas, 287-290-287=864
2. Oklahoma, 295-292-283=870
3. Oklahoma State, 292-285-296=873
4. Kansas State, 290-289-302=881
T5. Colorado, 295-301-297=893
T5. Kansas, 291-301-301=893
T5. Texas Tech, 294-303-296=893
8. Iowa State, 296-298-300=894
9. Baylor, 299-297-299=895
10. Texas A&M, 304-305-295=904
11. Missouri, 299-301-320=920
12. Nebraska, 314-299-313=926

Individual Results
1 Jason Hartwick, Texas, 70-66-68=204
2 Anthony Kim, Oklahoma, 76-70-67=213
T3 Farren Keenan, Texas, 71-73-70=214
T3 Alex Noren, Oklahoma State, 71-68-75=214
5 Ryan Baca, Baylor, 71-73-71=215
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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


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The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.