2004-05 Men's Golf Roster
The University of Texas men's golf team, under the direction of ninth-year head coach John Fields, put together another strong season in 2006 that included five top-five team finishes and nine top 10 individual finishes. Senior Matt Rosenfeld became the third UT golfer (joining David Gossett, 1999 and Jason Hartwick, 2004) to take home Big 12 Championship medalist honors and senior Matthew Mills tied for first at the PING/Arizona Intercollegiate (Jan. 30-31). At the NCAA Central Regional (May 18-20), freshman Randy Lowry became just the third golfer in Texas history to advance to the NCAA Championship as an individual after finishing tied for 15th. UT missed the team cut to advance as a team to the NCAAs by just one stroke. At the 2006 Big 12 Championship (April 24-25), Texas finished second behind Oklahoma, who won the league title, by just four strokes. Under Fields, Texas has not finished lower than fourth at a conference championship in eight trips.
In the Rankings
The Longhorns finished ranked 18th in the final Golfstat.com head-to-head poll after finishing in the top 10 at nine of its 12 events. Over the last 10 weeks of the season, Texas moved from 37th (April 4) to 16th (June 6) in the rankings, helped by five straight Top 11 team finishes leading up to the NCAA Championship. In the preseason polls, Texas received a No. 19 ranking in the first GCAA/Bridgestone Coaches poll, was ranked 12th by Golfworld and was tabbed No. 15 by Golfweek.
The Golf Coaches Association of America named seniors Jeff Bell and Matthew Mills to the PING All- South Region team for 2006. Each of the nine PING All-Region teams were comprised of 15 golfers and any player ranked in the top 75 nationally in either Golfstat.com or the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. Bell, a three-time All-Region honoree (2004, 2005 and 2006), finished second on the team with a 73.40 scoring average. Bell wrapped up his collegiate career with a tie for 47th place (77-75-71=223, +10) at the NCAA Central Regional (June 18-20). He recorded with two top 10 finishes and five top 30 finishes in 2006. Mills was a first-time honoree. The London, England native led Texas with a 72.89 scoring average and posted a career-best finish, a tie for first, at the PING/Arizona Intercollegiate (Jan. 30-31). Mills ended his UT career with a tie for 44th place (71-76-75=222, +9) at the NCAA Central Regional. In 2006, Mills had three top 10 finishes and seven top 30 finishes. The UT duo tied for top team finishes at the Puerto Rico Classic (T-27th) on Feb. 19-21 and the Morris Williams Intercollegiate (T-13th) on April 3-4.
Academic All-Big 12 Honors
UT seniors Matt Rosenfeld, Matt Mills and Jeff Bell were among 36 male golfers named to the 2006 Academic All-Big 12 team. Rosenfeld was a first-team selection, while Bell and Mills were second-team honorees. Rosenfeld was a three-time PING All-American and a two-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 selection. The Plano, Texas native also earned first team honors as a junior and second-team accolades as a sophomore. Rosenfeld, a business management major, finished with a 76.76 scoring average. Mills earned second-team Academic All-Big 12 honors for the first time in his career. A sports management major, Mills placed fifth (75-70-73=218, +5) at the Inverness Intercollegiate (Sept. 19-20) and tied for first (71-65-68=204, -9) at the PING/ASU Intercollegiate (Jan. 30-31). Bell was a two-time second team honoree after being named as a junior and a senior. Bell, an education major, posted top seven finishes in two out of UT's last three tournaments. To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of her team's scheduled contests.
NCAA Central Regional Recap
At the 2006 NCAA Central Regional on May 18-20, Texas finished tied for 11th after posting a nine-over par 293 (291-301-293) in the final round at Sand Ridge Golf Club (Par 71; 7,173 yards). The Longhorns were one sot below the 10-place cut line to advance to the NCAA Championship. The top 10 teams and two individuals (not on those 10 qualifying teams) from each regional advance to the NCAA Championship. Texas finished with a final team score of 885 (+33) after rounds of 291, 301 and 293. UT was just one stroke below 10th-place finisher Kentucky and broke a streak of four consecutive team trips to the NCAA Championship. The Wildcats advanced by slimmest of margins, as junior Tyler Wilson birdied his final two holes to propel Kentucky past Texas by just a single stroke. Freshman Randy Lowry earned the second of two individual slots for the NCAA Championship with a tie for 15th-place (72-74-71=217, +4). In his first trip to the regional, the Spring, Texas native recorded 38 pars in 54 holes played (fourth-best at the regional). Oklahoma State capped off its wire-to-wire run to the NCAA Central Regional title with a final-round 280 (-3) to defeat runner-up Northwestern by 16 strokes (296, +13). Oklahoma State freshman Jonathan Moore posted a final round 67 (-4) to claim medalist honors with an eight-under par 205 (69-69-67). Senior Matthew Mills and junior Jhonattan Vegas both entered the day tied for 27th place with identical five-over par scores (147). Mills finished tied for 44th (71-76-75=222, +9) while Vegas, who led the regional on par fives at six-under par, ended his season tied for 86th (71-76-81=228, +15). Senior Jeff Bell moved up 30 places on the final day from a tie for 77th to a tie for 47th after grinding out an even-par 71 in his last trip around the collegiate links. He ended at 10-over par (77-75-71=223). Fellow senior Matthew Rosenfeld finished the regional at 18-over par (78-77-76=231) after shooting five-over par 76 in his final collegiate round.
2006 Big 12 Championship in Review
Senior Matthew Rosenfeld wrote another chapter in Texas golf history by winning medalist honors at the 2006 Big 12 Championship (April 24-25). As a team, Texas recorded a second-place finish at Southern Hills Country Club (Par 71; 7,016 yards) in Tulsa, Okla. Rosenfeld finished at even-par 210 with rounds of 71, 70 and one-under 69 to claim his first Big 12 Championship individual title. This marked the 36th time a Texas player earned conference medalist honors. The Longhorns finished second with a score of 22-over par 862 with rounds of 285, 287 and 290. Oklahoma finished first at 18-over par (858) and No. 9 Texas A&M finished third at 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 nine trips. It was Rosenfeld's second collegiate tournament victory, and he became the third Longhorn to claim Big 12 medalist honors (joining David Gossett in 1999 and Jason Hartwick in 2004). Three Texas golfers finished in the top 10 for the tournament. Along with Rosenfeld, senior Jeff Bell finished in a tie for seventh (70-70-75=215, +5), and senior Matt Mills tied for ninth (70-75-71=216, +6). Freshman Randy Lowry finished tied for 27th (77-72-80=217, +4), and junior Jhonattan Vegas tied for 45th at 19-over par (74-75-80=229).
Mills takes 2006 Massingill Trophy
Senior Matt Mills won the 62nd Massingill Trophy on Sept. 14 after finishing the five-round intrasquad tournament with a total score of 352 (69-68-73-70-72, -8). Mills posted a three-shot victory over junior Farren Keenan, who finished at five-under 355 (71-68-72-72-72). Started in 1944, the Massingill competition was once the only way to become a member of UT's golf program. The competition was open to all male students at UT and the top performers were welcomed to join the Longhorns' golf team. A list of former winners reads like a "Who's Who" in golf, including Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw, Phil Blackmar, Mark Brooks, Bob Estes, Justin Leonard and David Gossett, just to name a few.
Three seniors - Jeff Bell, Matt Mills and Matthew Rosenfeld - played in their last NCAA event at the Central Regional on May 18-20, leading Texas to an 11th-place finish, just one stroke shy of an NCAA Championship team appearance. The trio totaled two Big 12 titles in three years and led Texas to a second-place league championship finish in 2006. Rosenfeld was the 2006 Big 12 medalist and a three-time PING All-American. Bell and Rosenfeld were named PING All-South Central Region honorees for 2006. Mills led the team with a 72.89 scoring average and tied for first at the PING/Arizona Intercollegiate on Jan. 31 with a score of nine-under par 204 (71-65-68). Mills had two top five finishes on the season and six top 20 finishes. Bell finished second on the squad with a 73.40 scoring average and has six top-20 finishes on the year. His best finishes of the year were ties for seventh place at the Big 12 Championship (April 24-25) and at the U.S. Collegiate Championship (April 10-11). Rosenfeld finished seventh on the team with a 76.76 scoring average.
Vegas Solid in Year Three
Junior Jhonattan Vegas jumped into the starting line-up for Texas by winning three of UT's five qualifying tournaments. He posted two top five finishes and four top 25 finishes in 10 events in 2006. Vegas was third on the team with a 74.64 scoring average and joined Matt Mills as the only Longhorn golfers to play in all 12 events in 2006. At the Hilo Intercollegiate (Feb. 8-10), Vegas twice shot a season-low four-under 67 and finished tied for fifth place (67-74-67=208, -5). At the Hall of Fame Invitational (March 17-19), he placed fifth with a three-over-par 219 (71-73-75). Vegas was the top finisher for the Longhorns three times in 12 events, tying with Mills and senior Jeff Bell for the team lead.
Lowry at the NCAA Championship
Texas freshman Randy Lowry made his first trip to the NCAA Championship (May 31-June 1) at the Crossriver Golf Course in Sunriver, Ore. (par 72; 7,630 yards) after qualifying as an individual. After three rounds, Lowry did not make the 54-hole cut after posting a third-round score of 73 (+1), his best round of the championship. The UT rookie finished 11-over par (74-80-73=227) and tied for 123rd. Oklahoma State won the team title with a nine-over par 1,143 (281-291-288-283). Florida finished second at six-under par (284-285-298-279=1,146), while Minnesota and Wake Forest tied for third place at five-under par (1,147). Jonathan Moore of Oklahoma State earned NCAA individual medalist honors with a 12-under par score of 276 (68-70-69-69).
No Longer Low Man on the Roster
Freshman Randy Lowry was this year's surprise on a roster full of upperclassmen. Lowry started in each of UT's last six tournaments and finished with a 76.25 scoring average in 36 rounds. His best finish was a tie for 15th at the NCAA Central Regional (5/18-20) with a four-over-par 217 (72-74-71) to earn his individual slot at the NCAA Championship. Lowry finished the NCAAs (5/31-6/3) tied for 123rd with a 11-over par 227 (74-80-73). In the third round of the regional, Lowry posted a season-low even-par 71 at the Sand Ridge Golf Club. Lowry registered seven rounds of 72 or better this season, including a 72 to open play at the Central Regional. The rookie finished tied for 59th at the U.S. Collegiate Championship (4/10-11), then tied for 27th (77-72-80=224, +14) at his first Big 12 Championship two weeks later (4/24-25) and then tied for 15th (72-74-71=217, +4) at the regional.