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.

2023 Season Preview: Vanderbilt Women’s Golf

Despite a rough ending to the 2022 season, Vanderbilt Women’s Golf remains optimistic about the future.
Vanderbilt+Womens+Golf+head+coach+Greg+Allen+celebrates+on+the+course+%28Vanderbilt+Athletics%29.
Vanderbilt Women’s Golf head coach Greg Allen celebrates on the course (Vanderbilt Athletics).

The 2022-23 season was one to remember for the Vanderbilt Women’s Golf team, as it took third place at the Westfield Regional in Westfield, Ind., and advanced to the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships for the second time in as many years. Once the Commodores arrived at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., however, they struggled to find their footing, finishing 27th out of 30 during three days of competition. 

It was a legitimate reflection of an overall up-and-down season for Vanderbilt, finishing in the middle of the majority of its events. Still, the team flashed signs of brilliance: After a disastrous start to the year at the Carmel Cup — finishing last, Vanderbilt went on to place third at the Mason Rudolph Championship, first at the Ron Moore intercollegiate, third at the Battle of the Beach and first at the FAU paradise Invitational

It’s results like these that have head coach Greg Allen feeling optimistic about the season to come.

“I’m really pumped about this squad and can’t wait to get started,” Allen said. “We have four starters back from last year and some very talented freshmen.”

Celina Sattelkau headlines the returning starters from last year’s postseason run, as the German graduate student will look to replicate much of her success from last season’s All-American campaign. Joining her will be sophomore Lynn Lim, who enjoyed a successful freshman season for the Black and Gold. Lim was named SEC Freshman of the Year and posted excellent results at numerous events, including at the FAU Invitational and the Mason Rudolph Championships. Sophomore Tillie Claggett, who was named to the SEC All-Freshman team in 2022, and Junior Virginie Ding bring even more postseason experience back to the Commodores. 

Rounding out the returners are senior Ariel Yu and junior Meghan Meserole, who should both provide important depth to the team. Joining them will be freshmen Sara Im, Macie Brown, Ava Merrill and Charlene Chung. 

Despite the departure of Tess Davenport — the fifth member of the Commodores’ 2022-23 postseason squad, Allen remains confident that, between the talented newcomers and experienced returners, the team will remain competitive and find even more success than last season. 

“[There are] some very talented freshmen, so it’s going to be really competitive to make the lineup, which I absolutely love because it’s going to make everyone better,” Allen said. “My expectation for this year’s team remains the same as every other year: that we show up prepared for every round and be willing to play hard from start to finish.”

The competition in practice will not only help Vanderbilt’s golfers improve their individual game, but it also should build a necessary level of cohesion and competitiveness as the team takes on another arduous schedule. 

“In all my years of coaching, this year’s schedule has to be the most impressive,” Allen said. “We are starting the fall season at Pebble Beach and ending at The Old Course. What an unbelievable opportunity for our young ladies. We are so grateful to be a part of both of these events. Plus, having the chance to compete on The Golf Channel is extra special.”

Despite his optimism about the season to come, Allen acknowledged the need for improvement from the Commodores. 

“I feel like we have a group that hits the ball really well from tee to green, so finding a way to become better on and around the greens will be a big focus for us,” Allen said. “We have some clutch putters, but I want a team full of clutch putters.”

Several individual golfers for Vanderbilt had impressive summers in the world of golf. Ding earned an invitation to play in the Women’s Scottish Open, finishing tied at No. 63 with a cumulative score of +5. Lim and Im both qualified for and competed in the U.S. Women’s Amatuer Championship a few weeks ago. Sattelkau helped Germany to a third place finish at the Wolrd Amatuer Golf Championships over the summer, as well. 

Vanderbilt will look to take its summer success and lessons learned from last season into the 2023-2024 season. The Commodores will tee off at Pebble Beach, Calif., for the Carmel Cup from Sept. 1-3. 

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About the Contributor
Aiden Rutman
Aiden Rutman, Sports Editor
Aiden Rutman (‘25) is a student in Peabody College majoring in human and organizational development and minoring in communication studies. He formerly produced The Hustler’s sports podcast, Live from West End. In addition to writing and podcasting, Aiden is an avid New York sports fan, and he loves playing sports, spending time outdoors and trying new foods. You can reach him at [email protected].
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