Men’s Golf: Commodores finish tied for fourth at Old Waverly Collegiate

Eighth-ranked Vanderbilt posted its third consecutive top-five finish this week in Mississippi.

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Harrison Ott swings during a practice ahead of the 2021 spring season. (Twitter/@VandyMGolf)

Andrew Wilf, Staff Writer

Vanderbilt competed in the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship from March 26-28 at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Mississippi, ultimately finishing tied for fourth of fourteen. On Friday, the Commodores came out hot, as they found themselves tied for second place after 18 holes. 20 birdies and a Cole Sherwood eagle were promising stats for the Commodores, as the team scored an impressive 283, putting Vanderbilt at five-under par for the day.

“We played in tough conditions in the first round” head coach Scott Limbaugh said. “I was proud of the way Matthew [Riedel], William [Moll], Harrison [Ott], and our team battled and finished the day strong.”

Saturday was much of the same as Vanderbilt posted another 283. Unfortunately for the Commodores, their opponents elevated their performance while Vanderbilt did not improve. This put the Commodores in fifth place with one day to go, but Vanderbilt still had a chance to win the tournament.

Through 36 holes and a final round looming, the Commodores were gearing up to battle for first place as they trailed Texas A&M by seven strokes. But, the Commodores, ten-under par at the time, crashed on Sunday. On the final day, Vanderbilt experienced turbulent winds that resulted in a seven-over par performance eliminating the Commodores from any hopes of finishing atop the leaderboard. The Commodores finished the weekend at  three-under par, and 17 strokes behind the victorious Georgia Bulldogs. 

“We’re losing focus from time to time,” Limbaugh said. “We didn’t play up to our standards for 18 holes in the final day and we need to stay locked in and keep learning.”

Although the Commodores had an underwhelming performance on the final day of the tournament, the overall play by the student-athletes was encouraging. Out of the 84 golfers that competed, three Commodores finished in the top-10. Vanderbilt junior Michael Shears finished the tournament tied for fourth at five-under par, including an impressive one-under par on the last day, which was marked by rigorous conditions. The other commodores in the top-10 included William Moll (T-6th) and Matthew Riedel (T-10th). In sophomore William Moll’s last seven starts, he has finished in the top-15 six times, and Riedel has finished in the top-10 three out of his last six starts. 

The Commodores look to make a stronger leap in the top-five as they prepare to travel to Birmingham, Alabama for the three-day Birmingham Invitational beginning April 5.