It probably should be no surprise that the NCAA Men’s Team Championship final between two heavyweight programs on Wednesday was won on the strength of twin branches from a family tree that has a green jacket.
Texas seniors Parker and Pierceson Coody, twin grandsons of former Masters champion Charles Coody, delivered the first two points for the Longhorns, who went on to defeat Arizona State, 3-2, at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. It was Texas’ second national championship in 11 years and the fourth in school history.
The clinching point came from Travis Vick, whose two-putt par on the 18th green gave him a 1-up victory over Cameron Sisk.
“It’s been such a long road, a lot of adversity,” Vick said. “We had a target on our back when the Coodys and Cole [Hammer] first came in. To be able to get it done was really special.”
The three amigos, Texas coach John Fields calls the Coodys and Hammer. “They’re three of the best golfers ever to play at Texas,” Fields said. “We’re going to miss them. They’re three of the best people on the planet.”
Parker Coody, who lost in a playoff in the Individual Championship on Monday, set the stage for this victory over the Sun Devils, who were pursuing their third NCAA championship in school history. He took a 2-up lead by making three threes to open his match with James Leow and cruised to a 6-and-5 victory.
Brother Pierceson had a tougher match, but prevailed, 2 and 1, over Preston Summerhays. After Summerhays missed a short birdie attempt at 17, Pierceson holed his birdie putt to end it.
“It’s hard not to tear up,” Pierceson said. “Especially this year. So much adversity, and to end up here and watching everyone play like this, it’s something I’ll never forget.”
At one point, it appeared Texas would win handily, but the Sun Devils gamely hung in and even threatened to pull off a remarkable comeback. Mason Andersen defeated Hammer, 3 and 2, for Arizona State’s first point, while Vick’s match came down to the 18th hole and David Puig’s birdie at 17 tied his match with Mason Nome. Both Puig and Nome parred 18 to send it to extra holes.
Nome appeared headed to a victory, but when Vick, 1 up at 18, lagged his birdie putt to within inches, he was conceded his par, giving the Longhorns their third point and the championship. Nome then conceded his match to Puig, as the celebration began.