After dropping the 2019 NCAA championship match to Stanford, Texas seniors Cole Hammer
and twins Parker
and Pierceson Coody
figured they'd had plenty of time to make amends for coming up short at The Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark.
The pandemic wiped out the 2020 national championships and the Longhorns had a miserable time of it at Grayhawk last season, failing to make the cut for the final round.
The clock then started ticking louder for John Fields' team in December when the Coody twins broke their arms in a conditioning drill.
It seemed if it wasn't for bad luck, Texas would have no luck at all.
Fast forward to June and all is well in Austin, as Texas won the national championship on Wednesday, defeating Arizona State, 3-2 in the Sun Devils' own backyard at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale.
This is Texas's fourth national title in program history and first since 2012 when Jordan Spieth and Dylan Frittelli helped lift the Longhorns to their first of the match-play era.
Parker Coody set the tone for the day for Texas, making quick work of James Leow
, 6&5 to put the first point on the board for the Longhorns.
The Sun Devils tied the match after Mason Andersen
turned back Hammer, 3&2. Pierceson Coody's 2&1 win over Preston Summerhays
brought Texas to within one point of the national championship with two matches hanging in the balance.
With the match between Texas' Mason Nome
and David Puig
headed to extra holes, junior Travis Vick
, a semifinalist at last year's U.S. Amateur, delivered the championship point for the Longhorns with a conceded par on the 18th to defeat Cameron Sisk
In all three of the matches that Texas won, the Longhorns never trailed.
“One of the things we talked about last night was how you get on such emotional highs, especially when you be a team that’s as good as Oklahoma State, then we end up beating a very hot Vanderbilt, you get on such emotional highs with those wins,” said Parker Coody, who went 2-1 in matches.
“We talked about how to get ready for (the final). Pierceson, Cole and I remember that was the first time our phones blew up, because we took out the state of Oklahoma (in 2019), and with the short turnaround we were just drained. We talked about it last night, how important it was to get ready for today.”
Seedings and rankings aside, Texas was the best team at Grayhawk over the last four days.
The Longhorns moved into the fourth seed after they played The Raptor Course at 5-under over the final two rounds of stroke play, which was 10 strokes better than any other team in the field. In what Hammer referred to as the Longhorns' "comeback tour," Texas then won a pair of tightly contested matches against Big 12 rival Oklahoma State and top-seeded Vanderbilt to secure its place in the national finals.
However, the worm started to turn on the Longhorns' season long before they arrived in Scottsdale.
Parker Coody returned to the lineup in early March in time for the Southern Highlands Invitational
, where Texas finished third behind Oklahoma and Pepperdine and Pierceson received the go-ahead a month later and immediately led Texas to a runaway victory at the Augusta Haskins Award Invitational
, where he claimed medalist honors with a 17-under-par score of 199.
With a clean bill of health, Texas edged Pepperdine to win the prestigious Western Intercollegiate
at Pasatiempo Golf Club.
“Thank goodness our trainers and doctors did such a great job with Pierceson and Parker,” head coach John Fields said after the win in Santa Cruz. “They’re back, let’s go get it now.”
And that they did.
On a hot Wednesday afternoon in the Arizona desert, Texas channeled its longtime coach, the late Harvey Penick, and took "dead aim."
The program that has produced six alums who have combined to win nine major championships finally had its hands on a major they could call their own.
“They’ve done the hard work, they’ve done the heavy lifting, and now they’re national champions," said Fields.
• • • • •
Championship Match Results
Texas d. Arizona State, 3-2
Mason Andersen (ASU) d. Cole Hammer, 3&2
Parker Coody (Texas) d. James Leow, 6&5
Pierceson Coody (Texas) d. Preston Summerhays, 2&1
David Puig (ASU) d. Mason Nome, 19 holes
Travis Vick (Texas) d. Cameron Sisk, 1-up
Golfweek contributed to this story