Doug Ghim

Photo Credit: Stephanie Martinez-Arndt | Daily Texan Staff

Texas started off strong on day one of the Big 12 Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, taking the early lead after the first round with a team score of 289. But the Longhorns’ second round of the first day was not as productive, knocking them back to fourth place with a score of 288.

Texas faced a daunting task after sitting eight strokes back heading into the third round on Tuesday. To make a push to claim its sixth straight title, Texas had some work to do.

In the third round, three different Longhorns shot even par or better, making for a solid outing and a much-needed improvement on their first two rounds. As a team, Texas finished with a score of 281 in the third round. The Longhorns sit at 18-over par in a tie with Oklahoma State for third place going into the final day of play.

“I thought the guys played really well today,” Texas head coach John Fields said. “A 281 on this golf course was a solid round for sure.”

As usual, the standout of the round for Texas was star senior Doug Ghim. Ghim followed up rounds of 71 and 69 with a third-round 70 to stay at even par for the tournament. That put Ghim in a tie for first with Oklahoma State’s Grant Hirschman going into the final round. 

Senior Scottie Scheffler also finished his third round with a solid performance. Scheffler shot a 1-under par 69 for the Longhorns’ best round of the day. That put Scheffler at 5-over par for the tournament and in a tie for 11th going into the
final round. 

Although Texas improved in its third round, the Longhorns still have a lot of ground to make up to catch the leader, Oklahoma, who sits at 12-over par for the tournament. With how the other competitors are playing in the tournament, the Longhorns will need to put up a much lower score than their third-round 281 to mount a comeback.

“Our goal was to have a chance with nine holes to play,” Fields said. “This is a great field, with great coaches and great players. So we don’t take it lightly, and we know we are going to be challenged tomorrow by the weather and the course.”

Texas tees off in the fourth and final round with Oklahoma State at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Martinez-Arndt | Daily Texan Staff

It's been an entire month since No. 17 Texas last hit the links for competitive collegiate golf at the Amer Invitational in Hawaii.

Texas started hot in Hawaii, leading the field after day one of action. But the Longhorns could not keep that momentum up for the remainder of the tournament and slid back to finish fourth overall.

“Hawaii is a good way to start the spring,” Texas head coach John Fields said. “The team had a number of good things happen, and we know what we need to work at to be as competitive as we believe we can be.”

During the gap between team play, several Texas individuals posted some big accomplishments. Senior Doug Ghim was recently named to both the Ben Hogan Award Watch List and the Golfweek Haskins Award Watch List.

Senior Scottie Scheffler won the Genesis Open Collegiate Showcase with a 3-under 68 to qualify for the Genesis Open, although he did not make the weekend cut at the PGA Tour event.

On Sunday, the Longhorns travel to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for the Querencia Cabo Collegiate. The tournament field will showcase 16 other teams, eight of which are currently ranked in the top 25 in the nation.

The Longhorns will need strong showings from the senior duo of Scheffler and Ghim as well as sophomore Spencer Soosman, who finished just three strokes back of the individual champion at the Ameri Invitational.

“Those three guys are basically the strength of our team right now,” Fields said. “What we’ve got to do is do a great job coaching our guys and giving them the best opportunity to be prepared when we get to a golf tournament.”

This is the first week that Scheffler and Ghim will be playing competitive golf with the pressures of the added awards and watchlists on their shoulders, but Fields is expecting them to shine in the added spotlight.

“They know for them, it’s just paying attention to business,” Fields said. “When they’re in competition, it’s just playing one shot at a time. When they’re playing, it does them no good to be distracted, and they’re disciplined enough to deal with those things.”

Texas will tee off in the first day of the tournament on Sunday with hopes to improve on its fifth place finish at last year’s Querencia Cabo Collegiate at Los Cabos Querencia Course.

After a disappointing end to its 2014 season, the Texas team has its eyes on a national championship.   

“We started the year with a team that can compete for a national championship, and that hasn’t changed,” head coach John Fields said.

Texas finally starts its four-month journey to a potential title this weekend at the Amer Ari/Big Island Intercollegiate Golf Tournament in Waikoloa, Hawaii. The beautiful island setting will serve as merely a backdrop for the Longhorns, who are looking for their first title since 2012. 

No. 5 Texas boasts a roster capable of finding its way to the National Championship in Florida this May. 

Sophomore Beau Hossler and freshman Doug Ghim highlight the 12-person team. Both were selected to the All-Amateur team, which is made up of the 20 best amateur golfers from around the world. 

Hossler secured first-team honors after winning the Western Amateur and placing second at the Porter Cup. Ghim earned second-team recognition following runner-up honors at the U.S. Amateur Public Links and after advancing to the round of 64 at the U.S. Amateur. 

“Beau Hossler has absolutely had a great role this year, even better than when he was a freshman,” Fields said. “He had a great summer, along with his teammate Doug Ghim, who had an exceptional summer as well.”

Freshmen Taylor Funk and Scottie Scheffler, along with senior Kramer Hickok, join Hossler and Ghim to round out the five-man team lineup for the Big Island Intercollegiate. 

“Those are the five spots right now, but the lineup fluctuates week-to-week to promote competition within the team,” Fields said.  “Essentially right now, Hossler and Ghim are showing they will maintain where they are, and the fifth spot will typically move week-to-week.”

Among those competing for the fifth spot on the five-man team are redshirt juniors Will Griffin and Tayler Termeer and redshirt senior Brax McCarthy. The three will compete in the Big Island tournament this week as individuals, and aren’t far from finding their way into the lineup for the Longhorns. 

“We have eight players in the event for us this week,” Fields said. “This gives us the best opportunity to stay sharp and elevate the team.”

This weekend marks a starting point on the road to a national championship for Texas. And with the necessary tools to compete, the Longhorns have a promising opportunity ahead of them.

“We can have success, and winning the U.S. Collegiate Championship last fall in Georgia was proof of that,” Fields said. “Our goal is to come together and win championships.”

Since winning the national championship in 2012, the Texas’ men’s golf team has found that hoisting the trophy for a second time is just as hard as it was to win it once.

In their attempt to return as champs in 2013, the Longhorns fell to Illinois in the first round of match play at the NCAA Championships. Last year, Texas failed to qualify for the match play portion of the championship, finishing 13th.

But with standout sophomores Beau Hossler and Gavin Hall returning to the team and incoming freshmen Taylor Funk, Doug Ghim and Scottie Scheffler providing solid depth, the Longhorns are ready to get back to the top of the college golf world.

“Our team is going to be one of the best in the country this year,” Hossler said in an interview with Longhorn Network.

While the Longhorns struggled in the NCAA Championships, they do come into the year with some momentum from winning their second-straight Big 12 championship — the first time they’ve done that since winning three straight from 2002-2004. They also bring back all but two players from last year’s squad. Senior Kramer Hickok returns after finishing in the top 10 in four tournaments last year, and Hall will look to improve after a disappointing freshman campaign.

Hossler will likely be the leader for Texas on the course, though. He led the team with 24 rounds at or below par last year and was Texas’ highest finisher in three of the last four tournaments, including a season-best third place finish in the Big 12 Championships.

And he’s only gotten better this summer. Since the NCAA tournament, Hossler made the final of the California State Amateur and won both the Southern California Amateur and the Western Amateur. 

The three incoming freshmen will also provide strength. Scheffler, ranked No. 1 in the junior rankings when signed with the Longhorns, was a three-time 4A state champion in Texas and won the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, while both Funk and Ghim are likely to be key pieces for the Longhorns for the next four years as well.

Texas will be ready to get off to a strong start when it tees off for the first time in the OFCC/Fighting Illinois Invitational on Sept. 12.