TULSA, Okla. -- Senior Matthew Rosenfeld wrote another chapter in The University of Texas golf history by winning medalist honors on Tuesday at the 2006 Big 12 Championships leading No. 20 Texas to a second place finish at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.
Rosenfeld finished even par 210 with rounds of 71, 70 and one under 69 in the final day to take his first Big 12 Championship individual title and join names like David Gossett, Justin Leonard and Ben Crenshaw who all won conference medalist honors during their stays in Austin. Since 1927, 79 years, there have been 36 individual UT conference medalists.
The Longhorns finished second with a score of 22 over par 862 with rounds of 285, 287 and 290. Oklahoma finished first with a score of 18 over par 858 and No. 9 Texas A&M finished third with a score of 26 over par 866.
Texas also finished ahead of No. 3 Oklahoma State (876, T-4th), No. 14 Baylor (896, 7th) and No. 17 Texas Tech (896, T-4th). Under head coach John Fields, the Longhorns have never finished lower than fourth in a conference championship in eight trips.
"We are very proud of Matt and of our team," said Fields. "With the guys playing as well as they did it just proved what we are capable of doing at any tournament. We have two tournaments left to play and we want to win both of them. Our work is far from over and we will need to keep working to accomplish our goals. Matt and the team did a fantastic job. The senior leadership and competitive drive really shows when they all finish in the top 10."
It was Rosenfeld's second collegiate tournament victory and he became the third Longhorn to claim Big 12 medalist honors (joining Gossett in 1999 and Jason Hartwick in 2004). The Plano, Texas native also won the Cleveland Golf Classic as a sophomore in 2004. Rosenfeld's final round 69 was his lowest score of the season.
Three Texas golfers finished in the top 10 for the tournament. Along with Rosenfeld, senior Jeff Bell finished in a tie for seventh (215, +5) and senior Matt Mills tied for ninth (216, +6).
Due to rain and severe weather, the tournament was suspended after one-plus rounds on Monday. The teams picked up at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning to finish the second round. UT would rise to the top after sitting in third place with Bell and Rosenfeld both in the top five.
A native of Plano, Texas, Bell shot back-to-back even par rounds of 70 to sit in first heading into the final round on Tuesday afternoon. Bell finished his third round with a five over par 75 to fall into a tie for seventh. He opened his final round with three straight bogeys and was unable to manage a birdie, finishing with five bogeys and 13 pars for a tie for seventh.
Mills opened the tournament with an even par 70 but carded a five over par 75 in the two-day second round to fall to a tie for 13th at the beginning of the final round. The London, England native scrambled well to put together a one over par 71 in his last 18 holes with three birdies and four bogeys to finish tied for ninth.
Freshman Randy Lowry (Spring, Texas) finished his first Big 12 Championship in a tie for 27th place with a final score of 14 over par 225. Lowry posted rounds of 77, 72 and 75 for the two days. Junior Jhonattan Vegas (Maturin, Venezuela) was five strokes back with a final score of 19 over par 229. Vegas posted scores of 74, 75 and a final round 80.
The University of Texas has been one of the more successful men's golf programs in the Big 12 since its beginning in 1997. The Longhorns have won three championships (2002, 2003, 2004), have now had four second-place finishes and have never finished lower than fourth during the nine-year history of the event. UT in its entire conference past has won 42 out of 79 conference championships and 36 individual championships.
The Longhorns will now prepare for the NCAA Regional, which will take place May 18-20 at one of three sites: Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando, Fla.; the Sand Ridge Golf Club in Cleveland, Ohio; or the Tucson National Golf Club in Tucson, Ariz. For complete results from the 2006 Big 12 Men's Golf Championship, visit GolfStat.com.
Texas Player Quotes: Matthew Rosenfeld, Texas (Medalist)
"I told my family and my girlfriend that I might win the Big 12 this week. It's been such a long time between wins for me, and I've been playing so bad the entire year. I got a lesson 10 days ago (from Houston-based swing coach Jim Hardy), and he gave me a couple of simple swing thoughts and they really worked out. Under pressure here, I did what he told me to do, and that really helped me a lot. I have to give a lot of the thanks to him."
"I played solid all week long. I had some up and down points, but my ball striking really came around, especially the last nine holes. I was just fortunate to pull out a victory in a field where there were many others who could also have done so. The one thing that would have made this better would have been for our team to win the Big 12."