The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

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.

Men’s Golf: Vanderbilt punches ticket to NCAA Championships, places second at Auburn Regional

The Commodores qualified for the NCAA Championships for the ninth consecutive year this week.
Vanderbilts+Cole+Sherwood+shot+an+even-par+72+on+the+second+day+and+the+third+day+of+the+Auburn+Regional+%28Vanderbilt+Athletics%29.
Vanderbilt Athletics
Vanderbilt’s Cole Sherwood shot an even-par 72 on the second day and the third day of the Auburn Regional (Vanderbilt Athletics).

From May 15-17, the Vanderbilt Commodores competed with 12 other schools at the 54-hole NCAA Auburn Regional. The top five teams from the Auburn Regional advanced to the NCAA Championships, which will be played at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. The tournament will begin on May 26.

Coming into the tournament, the Commodores were ranked No. 1 nationally by Golfstat, Golfweek and in the GCAA Coaches’ Poll. Vanderbilt’s brilliant play continued this week at the NCAA Auburn Regional, as the Commodores shot an even-par 268. This score put Vanderbilt in second place, which was good enough for Vanderbilt to punch a ticket to the NCAA Championships for the ninth straight year. 

“It’s really hard to believe [qualifying for the NCAA Championships for the ninth straight year],” head coach Scott Limbaugh told the Hustler. “I think it shows a ton of consistency from a lot of current and former players. That regional week is not easy, so yes that’s something that I think is really cool. It also makes me feel old!”

In the first round on Monday, Vanderbilt was led by a 1-under 71 from SEC Player of the Year Gordon Sargent. Sargent was followed by Matthew Riedel, Reid Davenport and William Moll. Sargent was the only Commodore to score under-par, and Vanderbilt sat tied in fifth place with a score of 294 with two more rounds to play.

Tuesday was a monumental day for the Commodores as Vanderbilt went into fourth place at the end of the round. In large part due to three Vanderbilt student-athletes (Riedel, Moll and Sherwood) shooting par or better and Reid Davenport posting a 1-over 73, the Commodores had a great opportunity to qualify for the NCAA Championships on Wednesday. Moll led the team with six birdies on the day.

“I thought it was a really good team round of golf today,” Limbaugh said. “It is so important on days like to today to have everyone in their round and fighting the fight. Cole got us off to a good start early, which felt important because we are a different team when he plays with that kind of attitude. Matthew and William responded really well after a couple of early bogeys and both did great jobs staying patient and allowing good golf to happen. Reid was really solid all day long and is doing a lot of good things in his game.  Gordon played better than his score, and we know he will be there tomorrow.”

In Vanderbilt’s final day of competition, Sargent posted a 4-under 68. After scoring an underwhelming 75 on Tuesday, Sargent recorded eight birdies in his spectacular round on Wednesday. The sophomore phenom is No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. According to coach Limbaugh, Sargent has an exceptional ability to lock in and not be denied.

The Commodores had a strong final round, scoring a noteworthy 4-under 284. This strong showing catapulted Vanderbilt into second place of the tournament with an even-par 864. Vanderbilt came up one shot shy of the Auburn Tigers. 

“I’m just so dang proud of this team!” Limbaugh said. “We played our worst nine holes of the year to start this regional and instead of panicking, they decided to fight the good fight. People on the outside might think this is easy but it’s just not easy.”

Vanderbilt enters the NCAA Championships with more regular-season team titles (6) than any other Vanderbilt men’s golf team ever has. In addition, the Commodores have experience in the NCAA Championships, as they made it to the semifinal round in 2022 and the quarterfinal round in 2021. Vanderbilt will hope to add to their already impressive resume this season by adding their first National Championship in program history. The Commodores will have a quick turnaround and head to Scottsdale on Monday to get acclimated to the climate. 

“It is fun to see a lot of different guys step up all year long,” Limbaugh said. “We’ve had seven guys play some outstanding golf. I’m having a great time with this team and I know they believe in each other.”

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About the Contributor
Andrew Wilf, Sports Editor
Andrew Wilf (’24) is Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. He is from Livingston, N.J., and is majoring in history and minoring in business. He joined the sports staff his freshman year, previously serving as a Staff Writer, Assistant Sports Editor and Deputy Sports Editor. Beyond writing for The Hustler, he is also the host of Anchor Analysis, Commodore Clash and Live From West End. In his free time, Andrew enjoys watching the NFL and playing golf. He can be reached at [email protected].
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