- East Lake Cup photo
No. 18 Texas captured a much-needed win at the East Lake Cup, holding off their conference rivals Oklahoma State 3-2 in the final at the East Lake Club in Atlanta, Ga.
Last season, Texas knocked out what was considered to be one of the most formidable Oklahoma State teams off all time, who were defending their NCAA Championship with a lineup that included Viktor Hovland and Matt Wolff, each of whom has since earned full-time status on the PGA Tour.
Based on that performance, Texas was given the No. 1 ranking heading into this season, but have struggled to live up to the lofty expectations. So any sort of win, even in a limited field match-play event, was much needed.
"I'm really excited for our guys. Anytime you win it's a big deal," head coach John Fields said. "To come in here and get a victory at East Lake, shoot 10-under par in the [stroke] play round and really make a little bit of a statement - not to anybody else, but to ourselves - because we need a little bit of validation. We know we're a good team, but we just hadn't seen anything positive."
"All the positives that are going to come out of this particular semester are really good and we get to enjoy [it] just a little bit more because of this win. The kids will all take an unbelievable amount of experience [away] and the pressure was significant," Fields said.
Parker Coody and Spencer Soosman won their matches for the Longhorns, while Austin Eckroat and Brian Stark won theirs for the Cowboys. It all came down to freshman Travis Vick, who sank a pressure-packed five-footer in the rain to hold off Rayhan Thomas and clinch the title for the Longhorns.
"The weather was really, really tough," Vick said. "It was a little bit windy and it was rainy, so there's a lot of towels being wet and little factors that come into play. So being able to come out on top and for our team to win is really neat."
For Oklahoma State, it is clearly a rebuilding year, and the team has struggled to contend in tournaments this fall. So for them the chance to taste a title will help the team grow as they head into the spring.
"Our goal was to leave with a trophy. We didn't do that, so you have to give Texas credit," said coach Alan Bratton. "Growth from every single one of our guys. [They] showed a ton of heart and showed we have a good team."
View results for East Lake Cup
ABOUT THE East Lake Cup
Started in 2015 and hosted by the historic
Lake Golf Club Atlanta, this collegiate, three-day
play competition features the top-performing
from the previous year's NCAA Men’s
Golf Championships. There is an individual award for
the low 18-hole scorer
in the seeding round.
View Complete Tournament Information