Site: Whispering Pines Golf Club (Trinity, Texas)
Dates: Fri.-Sun., April 29-May 1
Format: 54 holes, 18 each day
Host: Texas A&M
Course Stats: Par 72, 7,330 yards
2005 Field: Baylor, Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TEXAS, Texas A&M, Texas Tech
1. Matthew Rosenfeld, 71.9*
2. Jeff Bell, 73.5*
3. Shaun Goodwin, 73.8*
4. Jhonattan Vegas, 75.5*
5. Kevin Schultz, 74.5*
*2004-05 Stroke Average
T-17th - GCAA (as of 4/22)
Last Time Out
Junior Jeff Bell (Plano, Texas) carded a one-over-par 73 in the final round of the Aggie Invitational (Traditions Golf Club: Par 72, 7,235 yards) to finish in a tie for third at three-under-par (72-68-73=213), while the Texas men's golf team finished sixth at 28-over-par (300-291-301=892). Bell ended up three strokes behind Oklahoma's Anthony Kim and New Mexico's Spencer Levin. Oklahoma State took the team championship with a six-over-par 870.
Bell entered the final round in second place at four-under-par after carding the low score of the second round. He got off to a rough start in the final round, bogeying four of the first five holes. But, he battled back to shoot three-under-par over the remaining 13 holes to finish at one-over-par for the day and three-under-par for the tournament.
Junior Matthew Rosenfeld (Plano, Texas) fought back from an opening-round six-over-par 78 to shoot a 70 and a 72 over the last two rounds to finish in a tie for 12th place at four-over-par. Sophomore Jhonattan Vegas (Maturin, Venezuela) finished in a tie for 51st place at 15-over-par after shooting a seven-over-par 79 in the final round.
Senior Shaun Goodwin (Spring, Texas) and junior Matthew Mills (London, England) tied for 57th place at 17-over-par, while freshman Jace Moore (Southlake, Texas), who was playing as an individual, finished in a tie for 45th place at 14-over-par. Last Year's Championship The Texas Longhorns became the first team in league history to win three-consecutive conference championships after posting a 24-over-par 864 to better Oklahoma by six shots. All-American Jason Hartwick took the medalist honor with a six-under-par 204, the third-lowest total in the conference's eight-year history.
UT's Farren Keenan finished in a tie for third at one-over-par, while Jeff Bell and Matthew Rosenfeld tied for 11th and 36th places, respectively. Bell finished at 10-over-par and Rosenfeld shot a 17-over-par 227. Rusty Kennedy placed 51st at 23-over-par.
Over the eight years of the Big 12 Men's Golf Championship, the tournament has been played at Prairie Dunes Golf & Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan. seven times with the other tournament being played at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla. For the first time, the championship will be played at Whispering Pines Golf Club, which was ranked as the third-best golf course in Texas by Golf Digest. Although Texas has never played a tournament at Whispering Pines, three of the five team members who will be heading to this year's championship do have experience on the course. Junior Matthew Rosenfeld played the course as a part of Spirit Cup competition and senior Shaun Goodwin competed at the course a few times while at Sam Houston State. Also, freshman Kevin Schultz navigated Whispering Pines during his junior-golf career.
Texas and the Big 12 Championship
During the eight years of Big 12 men's golf, the Texas Longhorns have won three times (2002, '03, '04) equaling Oklahoma State's total (1997, '98, 2000). Kansas (1999) and Baylor (2001) each have one title during that span. UT has also earned two medalist honors (David Gossett, '99 and Jason Hartwick, '04) and the Longhorns have had an individual finish in the top three seven times. Oklahoma State leads the conference with four medalists, while Oklahoma and Baylor each have one.
Palmer Cup Continuation
For the fourth consecutive year, a Texas Longhorn has been named to the Palmer Cup by the Golf Coaches Association of America. This year, junior Matthew Rosenfeld was selected as one of eight American golfers who will compete against their counterparts from Europe in the annual Ryder Cup-style event. The tournament will be played June 8-9 on the 7,201 yard, par 72 Whistling Straits Irish Course in Kohler, Wis. Former Longhorns Jason Hartwick (2003 and '04) and John Klauk (2002) were the other Longhorns involved in the four-year run.
Ben Hogan, Meet Matthew Rosenfeld
Earlier this season, junior Matthew Rosenfeld was named a semifinalist for The 2005 Ben Hogan Award, which is annually presented to the top men's NCAA Division I, II or III, NAIA or junior college golfer. Rosenfeld celebrated this honor by tying for second place at the National Invitational Tournament in Tucson, Ariz. on Tuesday, March 29. He now has five top-six finishes this season including a tie for first place at the Western Refining All-America Classic in December. In addition, Rosenfeld earned first-team Academic All-Big 12 honors this season while capturing second-team honors as a sophomore.
Junior Jeff Bell is starting to regain the form that earned him All-Conference honors in 2004. The Plano, Texas native had his best finish of the season, a tie for third, in the Longhorns last tournament, the Aggie Invitational. It was also his best finish since the Cleveland Golf Classic (T-2nd) in March of last year. Bell has struggled with injuries throughout the season, but a tie for 23rd place at both the Hall of Fame Invitational and the Morris Williams followed by rounds of 72 and 68 at the Aggie Invitational have him believing he is playing his best golf at the right time of year.
As the lone senior on the 2005 Texas men's golf team, Shaun Goodwin has provided a steady influence as the Longhorns have moved through this season. After transferring from Sam Houston State midway through his sophomore season, the Spring, Texas native has been playing the best golf of his Texas career of late. He carded his best single-round total, a 67, during the second round of the National Invitational Tournament. He went on to earn a second-place finish at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate with a one-over-par 217.
The Texas Longhorns have welcomed the return of Maturin, Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas to the lineup during the spring season. After spending the fall campaign attempting to make the Venezuelan national team, Vegas used his first two tournaments to get re-acclimated to collegiate golf and then put it together at the National Invitational Tournament. He finished in a tie for 19th place at three-under-par. It was by far his best finish as a Longhorn and the first time he finished under par in a collegiate tournament. He came back to finish in a tie for 28th place at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate with a 10-over-par 226.
It will be a special weekend in the Schultz family as Texas freshman Kevin Schultz will play in his first conference championship, while brother David, a senior at Texas A&M, will play in his second. Kevin has played in five tournaments during his initial campaign with his best finish, a tie for 37th place, coming at the National Invitational Tournament in March. The pair did square off earlier this season at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate. David bettered Kevin by four strokes on the individual leaderboard, but Texas ended up seven strokes better than Texas A&M on the team leaderboard.