PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — Texas senior All-American Dylan Frittelli sunk a dramatic 30-foot putt on the 18th green to clinch a 3-2 win against Alabama and claim the Longhorns’ third national title in the match play final of the 2012 NCAA Men’s Golf Championships at Riviera C.C. in Pacific Palisades, Calif., on Sunday.
|DI MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP|
|Match Play: Quarters | Semis | Finals|
|Reger: Alabama’s quiet star|
|Reger: Vegas following in brother’s footsteps|
|Reger: Tide’s last pick having success|
|Reger: Ziegler recovers from eye injury|
|Reger: Cal’s Hagy takes care of business|
|Reger: Canadians get more exposure|
|Reger: Spieth finding Championship rough|
|Reger: Guillaume uses unusual path to Campbell|
|Reger: Hoffenberg returns from hiatus|
|Reger: Texas’ Frittelli gives back|
|Reger: Mitchell leading the charge for UGA|
|Reger: Pirates keeping focus amidst tragedy|
Texas won its first men’s golf national crown since back-to-back wins in 1971-72 thanks to a comeback victory after the Longhorns went down 2-0. The win was also the Longhorns’ eighth this season.
The University of Texas captures its 46th all-time NCAA team title and 50th national championship overall. It marks UT’s first NCAA team title since Men’s Swimming and Diving claimed its crown in March 2010.
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, 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. Alabama sophomore Bobby Wyatt had just gone down by a hole after 16 to Texas sophomore Toni Hakula, 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 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.