No. 9 Men’s Golf preview: OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational

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When: Friday, Sept. 16 – Sunday, Sept. 18

Format: 18 holes of stroke play each day

Where: Olympia Fields Country Club, North Course (Olympia Fields, Ill.)

Course Info: Par-70; 7,310 yards

Live Stats: https://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=25907

Defending National Champs: Texas claimed its fourth NCAA team title in program history last year with a dramatic 3-2 victory over tourney host Arizona State in the championship match on June 1 (Scottsdale, Ariz.). The Longhorns have captured NCAA team championships in 1971, 1972, 2012 and 2022.

15 Straight: UT’s streak of 15 consecutive NCAA Championship appearances is the longest current streak in NCAA Division I men’s golf. Here’s a look at the longest active NCAA Championship appearances entering the 2022-23 season.









Number of Consecutive NCAA Champ Appearances

School

15

TEXAS

11

Oklahoma

9

Oklahoma State

8

Vanderbilt

7

Arizona State

Advancing to Match Play: Not only has Texas been a consistent force in advancing to the NCAA Championships, the Longhorns have produced solid results while at the national championship. In the last 10 opportunities (dating back to the 2012 NCAA Championships), UT has advanced to the Match Play quarterfinals stage (final eight teams) a total of SEVEN times. Texas is the only school to advance to Match Play at least SEVEN times in the last 10 opportunities (2020 tourney was canceled due to COVID-19).








NCAA Match Play Appearances in Last 10 Tournaments (2012-22)

School

7 (2012-13-15-16-18-19-22)

TEXAS

6 (2016-17-18-19-21-22)

Oklahoma

6 (2014-17-18-19-21-22)

Oklahoma State

6 (2015-16-17-19-21-22)

Vanderbilt

The Fields Factor: Beginning his 26th season as head coach at Texas, John Fields has guided the Longhorns to 20 NCAA Championship appearances in his 24 opportunities (no NCAA tourney in 2020 due to COVID-19). Under Fields’ leadership, UT has posted 10 top-five finishes at the NCAA Championship, including NCAA team titles in 2012 and 2022 and runner-up showings in 2016 and 2019. Prior to his time at Texas, Fields led the University of New Mexico to nine NCAA Championship appearances in 10 seasons (1988-97). Fields was named Golfweek’s Men’s National Coach of the Year last season for the third time during his time in Austin (2012, 2016 and 2022). He also has claimed Big 12 Coach of the Year accolades nine times during his 25-year tenure at Texas (2002, 2003, 2004, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2022).

Team Rankings: Texas is No. 9 in the latest Bushnell/Golfweek Division I Coaches poll (Sept. 9).  

The Tourney Field: The 15-team field at the OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational includes (rankings reflect Bushnell/Golfweek Division I Coaches poll): Alabama, No. 25 Arizona, No. 5 Arizona State, Army, Baylor, No. 3 Florida, No. 18 Florida State, No. 11 Illinois (host), Indiana, No. 2 North Carolina, Northwestern, No. 7 Oklahoma State, No. 10 Pepperdine, No. 15 Stanford and No. 9 TEXAS.   

The Texas Lineup: UT will be represented by the following five players at the OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational:

  1. Travis Vick (Sr.)
  2. Christiaan Maas (Fr.)
  3. Jacob Sosa (Fr.)
  4. Keaton Vo (Fr.)
  5. Mason Nome (Sr.)

Inside the Texas Lineup

Travis Vick: No. 12 in current World Amateur Golf Rankings (Sept. 14) … No. 5 in the preseason PGA TOUR University class of 2023 rankings … three-time All-American … low amateur at the 2022 U.S. Open (70-69-76-73=288, +8) … semifinalist at the 2022 Western Amateur … one of 12 men’s players who competed for the American squad at the 2022 Arnold Palmer Cup (July 1-3 in Vandoeuvres, Switzerland) … earned second-team All-America honors during his junior season in 2022 (Golfweek, GCAA) … posted a team-best 70.84 stroke average and registered three top-five, six top-10 and nine top-20 individual finishes in 12 stroke-play events during the 2021-22 season … went 2-1 during the 2022 NCAA Match Play, including a 4&3 win over Reid Davenport (Vanderbilt) in the semifinals and registered the clinching 1-up victory against Arizona State’s Cameron Sisk in the final … collegiate-best second-place individual finish at the 2022 NCAA Norman Regional (May 16-18) at 10-under-par 206 (67-67-72) … semifinalist at the 2021 U.S. Amateur … 2021 honorable mention All-American (Golfweek, GCAA) … 2020 honorable mention All-American (Golfweek).

Keaton Vo: Medalist at the 2022 U.S. Junior Amateur (69-65=134, -9) … 2022 Texas Class 5A state individual champion and led Anderson High School to the team championship … tabbed the No. 1 recruit in the state of Texas and No. 7 nationally by the AJGA in the class of 2022 … three-time Rolex Junior All-American … member of the West Team at the 2020 Wyndham Cup … registered seven top-10 finishes on the AJGA Tour, including a tie for second at the 2021 Jackie Burke Invitational … won individual titles at the 2020 George Hannon Junior Invitational and the 2019 AJGA Junior All-Star Invitational at Lake Oconee.

Jacob Sosa: Led Austin Westlake High School to three consecutive Texas Class 6A state team titles (no tourney in 2020 due to COVID) … posted individual finishes of third, runner-up and tied for fifth during his three state championship tournaments … tabbed the No. 3 recruit in the state of Texas and No. 14 nationally by the AJGA in the class of 2022 … first-team Rolex Junior All-American in 2021 … member of the West Team at the 2021 Wyndham Cup … placed third at the 2020 Texas State Amateur and earned the win at the 2019 Texas State Junior Championship.

Christiaan Maas: No. 39 in current World Amateur Golf Rankings … No. 1-ranked junior in South Africa and a member of the Golf RSA National squad … competed for South Africa in the prestigious 2022 World Amateur Team Championship (Aug. 31-Sept. 3) in Paris … advanced to Match Play at the 2022 U.S. Amateur … tied for 11th in stroke play at the 2022 U.S. Junior Amateur … claimed a five-shot victory (65-70-67-68=270, -14) to win the prestigious Brabazon Trophy at Saunton Golf Club in England in May 2022 … posted six wins during the 2021 season, including the Cape Province Open and the South African Amateur Championship … 2020 and 2021 Silver Salver Champion.

Mason Nome: No. 92 in current World Amateur Golf Rankings … 2022 PING All-Central Region team selection … posted a 72.05 stroke average and registered four top-10 and six top-20 individual finishes in 12 stroke-play events during the 2021-22 season … went 1-1-1 during the 2022 NCAA Match Play, including the clinching 2-up win over Jonas Baumgartner (Oklahoma State) in the quarterfinals … posted a season-best tie for sixth place at the Augusta Haskins Award Invitational (April 2-3) at 9-under-par 207 (69-68-70) … equaled his season-best finish with a tie for sixth at the Big 12 Championship (April 25-27) at 3-under-par 213 (72-70-71) … named to the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team … posted a perfect 5-0-0 individual record at the 2021 Big 12 Match Play Championship (Oct. 11-13) … … recorded a hole-in-hole during the final round of the 2022 Arizona N.I.T. (March 19) on hole 12 … advanced to Match Play at the 2021 U.S. Amateur … two-time Academic All-Big 12 first-team selection (2021 and 2022) … 2020-21 Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-American Scholar.


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