Oregon falls in NCAA semis to eventual champion Texas

Updated: July 3, 2012

Oregon’s bid to upset top-ranked Texas came up one hole short, as the Longhorns survived 3-2 in the NCAA Men’s Golf national semifinals at Riviera Country Club. In the other national semifinal, Alabama held off a late rally by California to win 3-2.

Texas went on to beat Alabama for the national championship. It was Texas’ first national golf championship since 1972.

The seventh-ranked Ducks gave the top-ranked Longhorns all they could handle in an entertaining match.

“We played incredibly good golf today and even the guys who lost played really well,” said Oregon head coach Casey Martin. “Texas was just a stroke or two better than us today and I give them all the credit in the world because I think we made them earn it.”

After Texas posted the first two points of the day, the final three matches all came down to the 18th hole before a large gallery on a sunny day at Riviera.

And once again, it was Oregon’s three seniors who nearly pulled out the victory.

Daniel Miernicki went back-and forth between all square and one down with Texas’ Dylan Frittelli, but never took the lead until a brilliant eagle on the 17th hole. Following a monstrous drive, Miernicki smoked an iron on to the green and then made a 25-foot putt to go ahead for the first time in his match. The senior from Santee, Calif., then struck a 10-foot birdie on 18 to defeat Frittelli 2-up.

Eugene Wong got off to a hot start and never trailed Jordan Spieth in winning 1-up. He birdied the first hole to go ahead by one, and then doubled up when Spieth bogeyed No. 2. The senior from North Vancouver, B.C. extended his lead to three holes with a birdie on six. The 2010 Jack Nicklaus college player of the year saw Spieth get to within one on the back nine, but then went up by two with a birdie on 16 for a comfortable lead.