Texas holds off Arizona State for fourth national title
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Texas won the national title that eluded its current seniors three years ago.
No tornadoes, no letdowns, just one clutch shot after another.
Travis Vick two-putted from 30 feet on the 18th hole to beat Cameron Sisk and Texas won its fourth national championship by holding off Arizona State’s late charge for a 3-2 victory Wednesday.
“Everything has meaning and the adversity we faced only made us stronger,” Texas senior Parker Coody said.
Texas lost the 2019 title to Stanford, in part, to the weather. Predictions of severe storms pushed championship tee times up to just before dawn and the Longhorns were out of sorts in the 3-2 loss.
Texas spent the next three years trying to get back, fighting through pressure-packed moments to reach the final eight of the NCAA championships. The Longhorns seemed to free up in quarterfinal wins over Oklahoma State and Vanderbilt, which carried over into the final against Arizona State even as the matches got tight.
Vick closed it out, but it was far from easy.
He led 2 up with with three holes left, but missed a 15-foot par putt on Grayhawk Golf Course’s 16th hole to see his lead cut to one. Sisk missed a chance to tie when he left an 8-foot birdie putt short after driving it through the short par-4 17th.
Sisk pulled his second shot on the par-4 18th hole left in the bunker and hit it to 4 feet, leaving Vick with two putts to win the national championship. He hit it inches from the cup, sending the Longhorns charging onto the green with their first national title since 2012.
“Today, you see a bunch of men in front of you,” Texas coach John Fields said. “They may have not started out that way four or five years ago, but they are today and I’m really proud of them.”
Arizona State was the top seed a year ago at Grayhawk, but couldn’t get past Oklahoma in the semifinals. The Sun Devils got a bit of revenge by beating the Sooners in the quarterfinals on Tuesday and took down reigning national champion Pepperdine in the afternoon semifinals.
Arizona State appeared to be in trouble on the back nine against Texas, trailing in three matches after Parker Coody routed James Leow 6 and 5.
The Sun Devils rallied, setting up some tense moments down the stretch.
“You obviously want to be up, but at the same time we have a lot of trust in each other,” said Arizona State’s David Puig, who beat Mason Nome 1 up in 19 holes. “The match is not over, we’re still believing, and that’s what we did. We came up short, but it was close.”
It sure was.
After Coody’s win, Arizona State’s Mason Andersen tied the championship match with a 3-and-2 win over Cole Hammer.
Pierceson Coody, Parker’s twin, closed out his match with Preston Summerhays 2 and 1 by getting up and down for birdie on the short par-4 17th on Grahawk’s Raptor Course. Summerhays drove it just off the green and missed a 4-foot birdie before Coody’s 3-footer fell.
Texas junior Mason Nome had a 1-up lead after a birdie on the par-4 14th, but David Puig tied the match with a birdie on No. 17.
Nome then hit a tree left of the fairway on the 520-yard par-4 18th hole, leaving him 243 yards to the green. He hit it through the green and made a 20-foot par putt after Puig just missed a birdie, sending the match to extra holes.
Nome spun his ball off the par-4 10th hole and lost the hole 2 and 1, but didn’t have to worry about it with Vick securing the title a few hundred yards away.
“Obviously, it’s a painful loss,” Arizona State coach Matt Thurmond said. “You don’t chances to win a national championship very often and we had a chance at the very end. And it takes so much to get here.”
Something the Longhorns know all about.
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