Men’s golf takes down No. 21 Texas to open Big 12 Match Play Tournament

Luke O'Neill swings during the first round of the Big 12 Golf Championship at Prairie Dunes Country Club on April 26, 2021. (Archive photo by Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State men’s golf continued its historic start to the season with a victory in the first round of Big 12 Match Play Tournament. Laurenz Schiergen, Luke O’Neill, Tim Tillmanns and Will Hopkins all secured their matches, giving the Wildcats a 4-2 victory over last year’s national champion Texas Longhorns.

Birdies are key to scoring well in match play, and luckily for K-State, their birdie putts fell when needed. Hopkins stole the attention at Houston Oaks by sinking a 25-foot birdie on his last hole to go 1 up and clinch his matchup. 

Schiergen also impressed, taking five out of the first six holes en route to a decisive 6 and 4 victory. O’Neill on the other hand played a close front nine, but won four straight holes on the back to finish on top at 4 and 3. Tillmanns also finished strong on his back nine with a 3 and 2 win.

The two losses from the Wildcats were close calls as Cooper Schultz fell by just two holes and Nicklaus Mason at 2 and 1.

The victory over Texas comes after a hot start to the season by the men’s golf team. Their start includes a school record three-consecutive championship wins in just as many appearances. 

The Wildcats look to keep their momentum on Tuesday, Oct. 18. After tying against the top-ranked team in the country in Texas Tech the Wildcats will face TCU in the afternoon. Pool play for the Big 12 Match Play will wrap up on Wednesday against Iowa State and an opponent to be determined from the opposing pool.