The Texas men’s golf team will look to gain some traction in its 2015–16 campaign with spring play set to begin this weekend.
The Longhorns enter the spring ranked No. 10 in the Golfweek rankings, having dipped seven spots from their No. 3 preseason ranking in the fall.
Texas didn’t win a single tournament in the fall season, finishing eighth at the Fighting Illini Invitational, tying for fourth at the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational and tying for sixth at the United States Collegiate Championship.
But the team’s sluggish start is not without cause. The Longhorns dealt with injuries from the start of the season including a few bumps and bruises to star junior Beau Hossler and sophomore Scottie Scheffler.
“It’s been difficult for us to get our momentum,” head coach John Fields said. “You need consistency with your entire team. Even the success we had this fall was probably significant in relationship with the obstacles we were dealing with.”
The Longhorns, however, aren’t overreacting and placing stock into the difficulties of the fall. Last season, Texas only won one tournament before racking up six wins in the spring, including a third-straight Big 12 championship and a berth in the NCAA quarterfinals.
“The fall season does not mean hardly anything,” Hossler said. “We certainly underachieved, but I think that with this offseason — to have a couple months off for guys to get healthy, for guys to get their game in order, to understand what they need to improve on. I think we’re going to be just fine in the spring.”
The Longhorns will need more productions out of their fifth spot in the starting lineup if they are going to start winning tournaments. Texas returned four All-Americans from last year’s squad with Hossler, junior Gavin Hall and sophomores Scheffler and Doug Ghim but lost its key No. 5 player, Kramer Hickok.
Hickok helped shoulder the load last season with a 72.23 scoring average. This season, senior Tayler Termeer, junior Kalena Preus and sophomore Taylor Funk have all been vying for the job of replacing Hickok but have collectively averaged a 74.67 in stroke play.
Texas still remains confident it can fill that void in its lineup and make a run for a fourth-straight Big 12 championship and fourth national championship in program history.
“We have all the talent in the world,” Hossler said. “We have guys that want to win, guys that are working really hard and doing everything they can to get better.”
Texas kicks off its spring season this Friday and Saturday as the Longhorns head to Tucson for the Arizona Intercollegiate at the Sewailo Golf Club.