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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.

Men’s Golf: Gordon Sargent wins Walker Cup

Gordon Sargent carried the American Walker Cup team to a comeback victory over the tournament hosts, Great Britain and Ireland.
Vanderbilt Athletics
Gordon Sargent dominated the Walker Cup, going undefeated and winning the two-day tournament

Gordon Sargent is a budding super star. Since winning the NCAA men’s golf national championship as a freshman, Sargent has been growing his brand. He appeared in two major championships and two PGA TOUR events last season, while continuing his success at Vanderbilt. In March, Sargent made a move to secure a contract with the well-regarded sports agency, Excel Sports. Joining names like Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa, Excel is optimistic about Sargent’s trajectory. But nothing builds a brand better than a masterclass performance. Sargent and the American Walker Cup team were given an international stage at an iconic golf course to showcase their talent, and they did just that. 

On Sept. 2-3, Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) hosted the 49th Walker Cup at the Old Course at St. Andrews. The format consisted of foursomes (alternate shot) and singles (head-to-head). On Saturday morning, America got off to a poor start, losing three of four matches. But, the one bright spot, unsurprisingly, was Sargent and partner Dylan Menante winning their match 3 and 2 (three up with two to play). They led for much of the match and on the 16th hole, Sargent and Menante closed out GB&I with a birdie. Sargent began the weekend 1-0. 

In Saturday afternoon singles, America went 3-4-1, deepening the deficit. One of those three wins came from Sargent as he roared back against Englishman Jack Bigham. Sargent was down one through 16 but caught fire, winning 17 and 18 to take the match. Sargent improved to 2-0. 

Heading into Sunday, the USA team found themselves down by three points. In morning foursomes, they went 3-1 to shrink the deficit to one point. Sargent and Nick Dunlap birdied 18 to hold off the GB&I comeback. Sargent remained undefeated, 3-0. 

As Sunday singles rolled around, America needed a winning record in the ten matches to claim the 49th Walker Cup. Sargent was sure to do his part in steering the Americans toward victory.  After walking off the 16th green all square against Englishman John Gough, Sargent had two holes to flex his muscles. Gough’s out-of-bounds drive on 17 practically gave Sargent the hole. But on the iconic 18th, Sargent earned his victory. On the drivable par 4, Sargent scared the hole, launching a 340 yard drive onto the green. After he nearly holed his eagle putt, Gough conceded the match. Sargent finished the weekend 4-0 but would need help from his teammates to secure the trophy.

Losing just two matches, the Americans won the afternoon by four points, claiming the Walker Cup with a final score of 14.5-11.5. Sargent’s impeccable play secured 20.6% of the ten man team’s points.

Beyond the undefeated record, Sargent showcased an innate ability to deliver under pressure. In each of his four matches, Sargent birdied the final hole to claim the match. When the pressure builds and each shot means more, Sargent manages to elevate his game. This feat, over time, may propel Sargent into the elites among the pros. Year after year, the top collegiate players hope to compete professionally. Many rookies and young professionals impress on the weekdays but fall short in pressure-packed moments. If Sargent can channel his clutch factor on Sundays of professional tournaments, look out. Despite his limited success in his first professional outings, Sargent is destined for stardom. 

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About the Contributor
Zach Philip
Zach Philip, Staff Writer
Zach Philip (‘26) is majoring in computer science and economics in the College of Arts and Science. Outside of school, he enjoys watching golf and football (go Jaguars!). He can be reached at [email protected].
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