DI men's golf: Oregon, Texas punch tickets to 2016 championship match
EUGENE, Ore. – Top-seeded Texas and No. 6 Oregon will meet in the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf championship match after winning their semifinals matches Tuesday afternoon at the Eugene Country Club, a par 70, 7,014-yard course.
Texas will be looking for its fourth overall national title, last winning in 2012, while Oregon will hope to earn the program’s first national title on its home course.
The Ducks continued to have upset on their mind today as they took down second-seeded Illinois, 3-2-0, in the first semifinal. The first three points of the match were decided handily as Oregon got on the board first with a 5&4 victory from Edwin Yi over Edoardo Lipparelli. Yi chipped in on the first hole, setting the tone for the match.
“I didn't hit a good tee shot at all,” Yi said. “Then chunked my bunker shot and then chunked my next shot, then I had this par chip … I've chipped in many times before playing golf, so just visualizing shots, and it went in. It was big momentum. It felt like it put less pressure on me because I'm in the hole with par, so I just took advantage and played well after that.”
The Fighting Illini tied it up with a win from Thomas Detry as he won 5&3 over Thomas Lim. The tie was short-lived as Zach Foushee put the Ducks back on top, making par on 15 to win the hole and take the match 5&3 over Nick Hardy.
“It was nice to get off to a hot start because I was down all day in the quarterfinals until the end,” Foushee said. “It was nice to get an early lead and sustain that.”
The match between Oregon’s Sulman Raza and Charlie Danielson of Illinois would be the decider as it came down to the wire. Danielson was 1 up through much of the front nine before Raza was able to flip the match after winning back-to-back holes on 12 and 13.
His tee shot on 16 found water and Danielson was able to make par to tie the match up with two holes to play. On 17, Raza won the hole on bogey after he and Danielson each struggled to find the green. Leading 1 up, Raza’s approach shot on18 went into the right bunker while Danielson nailed his shot to about 15 feet to the left of the pin.
Raza was able to chip his shot out of the bunker and spin it back to about three feet behind the hole. Danielson’s birdie putt lipped out and Raza was able to make the par putt to halve the hole and take the match. The win secured the Ducks’ place in the championship match.
“I just went through my routine and just executed my putt,” Raza said. “Seeing that ball drop was a really, really good feeling. Being able to play in front of friends and family and playing on the golf course that I grew up playing, it's really special. I couldn't ask for a better outcome, being able to play for the national championship tomorrow.”
In the other semifinal match, Texas won 4-1-0 over Southern California to advance on to the finals.
“Our guys played really, really well today, this morning and this afternoon, top to bottom. Everybody did something special today,” Texas head coach John Fields said. “whether it was Taylor Funk, Scottie Scheffler, Gavin Hall, Doug Ghim or Beau Hossler, they all played really, really well and they gave it their best heart and soul out there, Texas fight. I'm so proud of them for getting to the finals.”
The Trojans struck first as Rico Hoey won 6&5 over Taylor Funk. The Longhorns came back with a commanding win of their won as Doug Ghim won 4&3 over Justin Suh.
With the match tied at 1-all, Gavin Hall put Texas on top as he won 4&3 over Jonah Texeira. The final point was then scored by Beau Hossler as the junior battled through shoulder pain to win 2&1 over Andrew Levitt. Leading 2 up going into 17, Hossler putted out his right bunker shot and put it 25 feet behind the hole. He then sunk the par-putt to halve the hole and clinch the win for the Longhorns.
“I think we're all really looking forward to tomorrow's opportunity to play in the national championship,” Hall said. “I know all five of us have dreamed of this as kids growing up, and to play Eugene Country Club against Oregon in their home event is incredible. I mean, this is something that we've all worked really hard for, and it's been a goal of ours the whole season, and to finally have this opportunity is something we're not going to take for granted tomorrow. We'll come out fighting, no matter how we're feeling.”
Wednesday’s national championship match between Texas and Oregon is set for 2:10 p.m. PT and will be shown on the Golf Channel with pregame coverage from 1-3 p.m. and then live tournament action from 3-7 p.m. and Golf Central Post-Game from 7-8 p.m. PT.