Sustained success in sports is hard to come by. Winning championships takes hard work, patience and a little bit of luck. However, Texas seems to have figured out how to get the triad to fall into place for three consecutive years.
The women’s golf team won its third consecutive Big 12 title in Tulsa on Tuesday, a few weeks after several of the golfers on the team made their Augusta National debuts. The Longhorns have also won several other tournaments in recent weeks, all in preparation for the postseason.
“We’re trending in the right direction, for sure,” head coach Ryan Murphy said. “We’ve been getting better every year. This is a special group and reminds me of the 2012 men’s team. We have five great players with different personalities, and it’s great to see the chemistry amongst them, which puts them over the top.”
One of those golfers who played at Augusta, Agathe Laisne, won her first collegiate tournament in the individual portion of the Big 12 tournament. While she has flirted with victory before, she was able to seal the deal this week.
“She (Laisne) got off to a great start in the first round, and yesterday she just really handled the course well with the tough conditions,” Murphy said. “Today she was struggling early, but then she birdied three holes coming in.”
Laisne was not alone on the leaderboard, however, as she was joined in the top five by Kaitlyn Papp and Sára Kouskova, who tied for second. Rounding out the top five was Emilee Hoffman, who finished in solo fourth.
“It was a fantastic week,” Murphy said. “To finish one-two-three-four in the individual rankings was pretty sweet. We obviously have a good team, and the conditions suited us this week.”
The depth of Texas has been an incredible advantage for the team this season and will be a major factor in the postseason as players are dealing with the rigors of a busy schedule.
“I feel like our depth has really created an environment where we can challenge one another,” Papp said. “Each week we are all playing well, so we all help each other grow in one way.”
That depth has resulted in victories over very difficult fields that feature many ranked teams. The team expects to play the best in the postseason, so they will see the teams they have already played again later this season.
“I think it’s great that we played such a strong schedule this season,” Papp said. “We saw all the teams that we’ll see this postseason. We’ve been able to play and observe each other’s games, so that’ll be helpful for us.”
The Longhorns will tee off next in the NCAA Regional Championship, which will be held in early May.