Jordan Spieth never did this.
Neither did Ben Crenshaw, or Scottie Scheffler, or Justin Leonard.
Texas freshman Jacob Sosa, playing in just his fourth career college tournament, fired an 11-under 61 Monday in the first round of the Southwestern Invitational at North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village, California. The score wasn’t just Sosa’s best round of the season by nine shots; it was his career-best, a tournament record, a course record and best of all, it was the lowest round ever shot by a Texas Longhorn, according to Texas’ record book.
Gavin Hall, Brandon Stone, David Gossett and Justin Leonard all shared the previous school record, which was 63.
“It was a great round, that’s for darn sure,” Texas head coach John Fields. “.He had been playing really well at home, and he we play hard golf courses at home, so his rounds indicated that he was playing very well. … It was really cool to watch him do this.”
Sosa’s dad, John, played for Texas in the 90s, and Jacob attended Austin, Texas, golf power Westlake High School. He was also a first-team AJGA All-American two years ago. But Sosa’s college career got off to somewhat of a slow start as he qualified for three of Texas’ five fall tournaments and didn’t finish inside the top 30 in either of the two stroke-play events he played in.
Before Monday, Sosa’s season-best round was 70. He’s now topped that by nine shots.
Sosa earned his place in the starting lineup for the Southwestern by finishing second in team qualifying, behind only fellow freshman Christiaan Maas. Known for his short game and putting, Sosa barely needed the flatstick in Monday’s opening round. He holed out three times for eagle, twice on par-4s and then from a greenside bunker at the par-5 12th hole. He didn’t card a bogey and birdied three of his last four holes as he kept pushing the pedal down further.
After 18 holes, Sosa leads individually by four shots over Arizona State freshman Luke Potter. Four freshman are actually among the top five players on the leaderboard as Texas’ Keaton Vo and Arizona State’s Michael Mjaaseth are both T-3. As a team, Texas, which posted a 20-24-2 head-to-head record in the fall, leads at 18 under, five shots clear of Arizona State. The Longhorns are on top despite an opening 79 from their top player Travis Vick.
Fields expects a big rebound from his senior in Tuesday’s second round. And though it’ll be tough for Sosa to repeat what he did Monday, Fields is confident the moment won’t be too big for Sosa as he sleeps on a lead and tries to back up his record day.
“As a coach, what you’d like to do is just keep it as simple as possible. … Every round’s a new round, one shot at a time,” Fields said. “It’s cliche, but that’s what he’s gotta do. He definitely has to live that tomorrow. But he’s obviously doing some really good things.”