National Championship moments: 1972 Men's Golf
Although the team was still overjoyed from winning its first NCAA title one year earlier, Coach George Hannon was not satisfied. This became very evident as the Texas began their run to defend their title in 1972.
Hannon and his squad never let up. Winning the NCAA Championship was hard work. But to Hannon, all the recognition and expectations that came along with the championship simply meant that Texas had to work harder.
Returning were two magnificent golfers who had previously helped win the school's first national title the previous June, "Hannon's Aces:" Tom Kite and his partner Ben Crenshaw.
In addition to the NCAA crown, Crenshaw won the Eastern Amateur and Southern Amateur. He also holds or shares the course record at three Austin courses. Kite was a member of the US Walker Cup team in 1971 and was runner-up in the 1970 national amateur.
The Longhorns began their 1972 title run in February at the Atascocita Intercollegiate in Humble, Texas. The Longhorns posted a team score 1,135 to finish second behind the only Houston.
Several other tournaments followed. The Trinity Intercollegiate turned out to be a great experience for the Longhorns. Kite led with an amazing score of 69, winning medalist honors and leading the Horns to the tournament title.
March was action-packed for the Longhorns. Texas competed in four major tournaments including the 21st Border Olympics. The Horns performed well in every tournament landing a spot in the top three of every one. They continued their run with Crenshaw collecting medals in three of the four tournaments.
April was a heavy month as well, including two major tournaments. The 18th All-America Intercollegiate was held in Houston, Texas finished the event with an overall team score of 1,158 placing them third behind Florida (1154) and first place Houston (1150). Texas' Aces, Crenshaw and Kite placed in the top five at the tournament individually.
Texas dominated at the Southwest Conference Tournament. The Horns won the event with a score of 859. One again, Crenshaw impressed the crowd by winning medalist honors with his individual score of 207.
The roads led to the 75th NCAA Championships in Coral Gables, Florida. There were very high expectations for Texas going into this tournament. But, along with all the nerves and pressure that built up inside the Longhorns came motivation from Coach Hannon.
The Longhorns stepped out on the course, determined to show the nation they were capable of retaining their title. George Tucker put up 298 for Texas. Ahead of Tucker were Brent Buckman (297) and Tony Pfaff (291). The trio set a solid base for the tandem of Crenshaw and Kite who shared individual SWC Championship honors with identical four-round tallies of 279.
Coach Hannon could not have been more pleased. The Longhorns were now back-to-back champions. He was able to come in a push a group of very talented young men to a higher level of excellence and win two national championships.