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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: Vanderbilt captures first victory of the season at Mason Rudolph Championship

Vanderbilt completed the comeback on the final day to win the Mason Rudolph Championship.
Vanderbilt Athletics
Vanderbilt Women’s Golf comes from behind to capture the Mason Rudolph Championship on Sept. 24, 2023 (Vanderbilt Athletics).

Vanderbilt women’s golf competed in the Mason Rudolph Championship from Sept. 22-24 at the North Course at Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tennessee. The Commodores won their home tournament with a score of -24 after a rally on the last day of competition to beat Auburn. All five of Vanderbilt’s starters secured top-30 finishes and three placed in the top-10.

Tillie Claggett, Lynn Lim, Virginie Ding, Celina Sattelkau and Ava Merrill were the starters for this tournament, while Macie Brown, Charlene Chung, Sara Im and Meghan Meserole competed as individuals. 

It was a dominant weekend display from the women, proving that, after a fourth place finish at the Carmel Cup earlier this month, the Commodores remain a force to be reckoned with. Vanderbilt bested second-place Auburn by three strokes, in large part due to a stellar final day performance in which the team shot a collective -6. 

On day one, the Commodores started the tournament hot, finishing the day in third place, but well within striking distance of the leader. Lim led the team with a 4-under 68 — including five birdies and one bogey — to finish the day in a tie for sixth. She caught fire on the back nine, making four birdies and recording the low round of the day for the team. 

Sattlekau, the veteran graduate student, shot a 3-under 69 to finish day one in a tie for eighth. It was a clean scorecard for Sattlekau — making three birdies and no bogeys — as she showcased her ability to play consistent golf.

Claggett was the third Commodore in the starting lineup to finish the day under par. She fired a score of 2-under 70 to put herself in contention for the individual title. Her round was highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 4th hole, which kickstarted her successful round. 

To round out the team’s play on day one, Merrill and Ding both fired rounds of 73.

“I thought today was a really solid start and a great team effort,” head coach Greg Allen said. “It was nice to see Lynn, Celina and Tillie under par.”

On day two, Vanderbilt surged ahead and shot a collective -10 to finish the day in second place, as the Commodores’ entire starting lineup shot under par. 

Claggett was the star of the team as she managed to shoot a bogey-free 6-under 66 to tie the overall low round of the tournament. Her showing represented the lowest individual score at the Mason Rudolph Championship since 2018. Her front nine was impressive, as she made one birdie, but she truly hit her stride on the back nine, making an incredible five birdies. It was a flawless round of golf which put her in second place individually going into the final round. 

Sattlekau fired a second round 70, continuing her exceptional play from day one. She had a great start to the front nine — making three birdies and no bogeys — but made an unlucky bogey on the par-5 18th hole to finish the day. 

Lim put together another solid round of golf on day two. She finished the day at even-par despite struggling through the first five holes. An eagle on the par-5 7th hole settled the sophomore’s nerves as she made two birdies on her back nine. 

Ding and Merrill once again matched each other’s scores, this time shooting 71s. Ding made five birdies, while Merrill was close behind with four birdies. Both players had enough birdies to go low, but too many bogeys and double bogeys pushed them out of contention for the individual title. Nevertheless, it was a solid showing from Ding and Merrill on day two.

“I’m really proud of the determination we showed today,” Allen said. “It was another solid team effort with the girls making a bunch of birdies and for the most part, doing what you’re supposed to do.”

On day three, the Commodores emerged victorious. Claggett battled for the individual title but fell just short as she finished in a tie for second. While her final round of 70 wasn’t enough to bring home the individual trophy,  Claggett’s exceptional play through all three rounds put the entire team in contention to win. 

“Tillie Claggett continues to get better; it was cool to see her in the hunt down the stretch,” Allen said. “Her time is coming to get an individual win.”

Both Lim and Sattlekau shot final rounds of 70 as well. Sattlekau finished in a tie for fifth while Lim finished in a tie for ninth. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Claggett, Sattlekau and Lim’s play was the consistency and maturity they displayed all week. 

Additionally, Ding and Merrill finished the tournament in a tie for 30th after both shot 72 in the final round. 

“I’m really proud of how our young ladies hung in there all day, stayed patient and kept pressing on,” Allen said. “They played very determined and like a team that wouldn’t stop until the job was finished.”

The Commodores’ performance at the Mason Rudolph Championship showed untapped potential. The team is composed of a deep roster with the ability to produce low rounds. In a competitive field, Vanderbilt conquered the competition and proved it can be a dominant team this season. 

The Commodores will be back in action at the Ron Moore Intercollegiate in Highlands Ranch, Colo., from Oct. 6-8.

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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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