PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. (June 3, 2012) -- Texas senior Dylan Frittelli sunk a dramatic 30-foot putt on the 18th green to clinch a 3-2 win over Alabama and claim the Longhorns’ third national title in the match play final of the USC-hosted 2012 NCAA Men’s Golf Championships at the Riviera C.C. in Pacific Palisades, Calif., on Sunday (June 3).
Texas won its first national crown since back-to-back wins in 1971-72 thanks to a comeback victory after the Longhorns went down 2-0. The win today was also the Longhorns’ eighth this season.
The Crimson Tide, which finished first in the 54-hole stroke play tournament to qualify as the No. 1-seed in the eight-team match play field earlier this week, and which stormed through its quarterfinal and semifinal matches, trailed much of the final round, save for its final pairing.
Alabama senior Hunter Hamrick quickly went out to a six-hole lead through nine holes against Texas junior Julio Vegas, but the rest of his Alabama teammates were in tight matches.
That was the case for the first pairing that became official. Sophomore Bobby Wyatt had just gone down by a hole after 16, but eagled 17 and then birdied 18 to give Alabama a 1-0 lead. Shortly after, Hamrick finalized his own win, closing down Vegas, 6&5, with a par on 13.
Meanwhile, in the third pairing of Alabama junior Scott Strohmeyer and Texas junior Cody Gribble, the action ended on 17. Gribble never trailed throughout the match and his birdie on 17 gave him a 2&1 win and cut the Tide’s lead in half.
The marquee matchup of two of the best amateurs in the country in freshmen Justin Thomas of Alabama and Jordan Spieth of Texas had been one-sided much of the day and Spieth had taken a 3-hole lead on 15.
Thus, all attention turned to the second pairing of Alabama sophomore Cory Whitsett and Texas’ Frittelli. Whitsett birdied the par 5 17th hole to tie the match and send fans flocking to 18.
By the time Whitsett and Frittelli were on the 18th green, Spieth had wrapped up his win over Thomas, 3&2.
Back on 18, Whitsett, who was away, whiffed on his chip from the fringe before sending his second attempt to within a makeable bogey distance. But Frittelli, needing only a two-put, erased any doubt by sinking his championship-clinching putt from the edge of the green.