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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Women’s Golf reaches quarterfinals of SEC Championships but narrowly falls to Mississippi State

After a strong finish in the strokeplay portion of the SEC Championships, Vanderbilt fell to Mississippi State in the quarterfinals of the matchplay.
Celina+Sattelkau+hitting+a+shot+on+April+12%2C+2023+%28Vanderbilt+Athletics%29.
Vanderbilt Athletics
Celina Sattelkau hitting a shot on April 12, 2023 (Vanderbilt Athletics).

Vanderbilt Women’s Golf began its postseason at the SEC Championships on April 12-15 at the par-72 Greystone Golf Club in Birmingham, Alabama. Celina Sattlekau, Lynn Lim, Tillie Claggett, Virginie Ding and Tess Davenport were the starters for this tournament.

The tournament consists of three rounds of strokeplay, with the top eight teams in strokeplay qualifying for the matchplay portion. It then becomes an eight-team bracket, with seeding determined by the strokeplay results. There are five players for each team, and there are head-to-head matchups in matchplay. To win a round and advance, a team must win three matches. 

Vanderbilt took fourth place (after shooting +23 over three rounds) in the strokeplay portion, positioning itself as the No. 4 seed in matchplay. In a thrilling set of matches, Vanderbilt barely lost to Mississippi State 3-2, ending its run in the SEC Championships. 

“This one is really going to sting for a bit,” head coach Greg Allen said. “We got the matchups we wanted but unfortunately came up one point short.”

After day one in the strokeplay portion, Vanderbilt found itself in first place. As a team, the Commodores were even-par and two strokes clear of Florida after day one.

Sattlekau led the way for Vanderbilt, firing a 4-under 68 to place her atop the individual leaderboard. Sattlekau made five birdies and one bogey en route to the best round of the day for the Commodores. Sattlekau played steady golf, taking advantage of attackable holes whilst being in control on tougher holes. 

Claggett also had a spectacular round on day one, firing a 2-under 70 to finish in a tie for fifth. It was an impressive round, consisting of four birdies and two bogeys, to vault her near the top of the leaderboard.

“It was great to see Celina and Tillie play so well. They really carried us,” Allen said.

Lim, Ding and Davenport each shot a 3-over 75 on day one.

On a rainy day two, Vanderbilt struggled to keep up its momentum. As a team, the Commodores shot +20 to place them in a tie for fourth after day two. The course was extremely difficult for all teams participating. 

Lim had the lowest round of the day for Vanderbilt and put together a 76 to place her in a tie for 24th. Both Davenport and Sattlekau fired 77s on day two. Sattlekau dropped into a tie for seventh but was still very much in contention for the individual title. Claggett shot a 79 and placed herself in a tie for 15th overall. Ding shot 78 on day two. 

“Today might have been the toughest conditions we’ve ever played in,” Allen said. “I thought our girls handled it really well early in the round but couldn’t hang onto any momentum,”

On day three, Vanderbilt secured its place in the matchplay portion of the tournament. As a team, the players shot +3 on the day to finish at +23 for the tournament. 

Sattlekau once again was dominant, firing an even-par 72 on day three and putting herself in a tie for sixth. This performance is Sattlekau’s sixth top-10 finish of the season.

Davenport shot a bogey-free 69 on day three, placing her in a tie for 15th. Considering her 77 on day two, she was able to bounce back and finish the strokeplay portion strong. 

Claggett and Ding each fired a 75 on day three. Lim shot 79, a slightly disappointing finish to an otherwise good performance for the week. 

Vanderbilt faced off against Mississippi State in the quarterfinals of the matchplay on day four. The Commodores lost 3-2, despite great efforts from Lim and Ding. 

Lim defeated the reigning SEC individual champion 3&2 with a par on the 7th hole to secure her victory. Ding defeated her opponent 1 up after a grueling match. The match was tied with four holes remaining; however, Ding was able to make some crucial putts to win on the final hole. Claggett lost her match 5&4, and Sattlekau lost her match 4&3. 

It was down to Davenport to advance the team to the next round of matchplay. However, after going to a third playoff hole, Davenport lost the match.

While this week might not have turned out exactly as the team planned, all five players made great efforts to push their team to the next level. It also marks the fifth consecutive year the team has made it to the matchplay portion of the SEC championship.

“Now, it’s time to play the waiting game to see where we go for regionals next month,” Allen said. “It will be nice for the[m] to get school and final exams behind them. I still think our best golf is ahead of us.”

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About the Contributor
Henry Oelhafen
Henry Oelhafen, Deputy Sports Editor
Henry Oelhafen (‘26) is a student in Peabody College majoring in human and organizational development and minoring in business. Henry grew up as a Vanderbilt sports fan and loves to talk about both professional and amateur golf. In addition to writing, he loves to play golf with friends, hike and try new restaurants. He can be reached at [email protected].
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