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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: Vanderbilt completes comeback to win Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational

Cole Sherwood also captured the individual title.
Vanderbilt Athletics
Cole Sherwood finishes his swing at the Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational. Sherwood took home the individual title while the team captured their second tournament win of the season. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

The Vanderbilt Men’s Golf team competed in the Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational from Oct. 2-3 at the par-70 Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. The Commodores won the tournament with a score of -16 after an astonishing final-day comeback to beat No.1 ranked UNC by one stroke. In a highly competitive field, featuring many powerhouses of college golf, the Commodores were able to capture their second victory of the season in dramatic fashion and bring yet another trophy back to Nashville. 

Cole Sherwood won the individual title after shooting -7 over three rounds, defeating Christo Lamprecht, the new No.1 amateur in the world, in a playoff hole. It was an impressive performance as Sherwood knocked in a birdie putt on the first playoff hole to win the individual title and secure himself an exemption into the 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge, an annual tournament on the PGA Tour. 

The tournament was held over two days, with 36 holes being played on day one and 18 holes on day two. Gordon Sargent, Matthew Riedel, William Moll, Cole Sherwood and Jackson Van Paris were the starters for this competition. 

Day one

On day one, the Commodores began the day early as they prepared for the upcoming 36 holes. Vanderbilt got off to a hot start, leading the field at -9 through the first 18. 

Sargent fired a 3-under 67 to break things open, featuring an eagle on par-5 14th hole. Two bogeys and no birdies on his final eight holes was a slightly bitter end to an otherwise fantastic round. 

Sherwood and Van Paris both shot a 4-under 66 in round one, allowing the team to surge ahead in round one. Sherwood had an impressive seven birdies while Van Paris had six birdies to finish the first round in a tie for first place. 

Additionally, Moll and Riedel both shot 72 to finish round one. An unfortunate string of four consecutive bogeys on Moll’s front nine made it difficult for him to push into red figures.

“I was excited to see us get off to a good start this morning and get some momentum,” head coach Scott Limbaugh said. 

In round two, the Commodores struggled to keep up their momentum from the morning. Vanderbilt dropped two places on the team leaderboard to third place, behind Oklahoma and Arizona State, after shooting -1 as a team. 

Riedel was able to bounce back after his difficult morning round, shooting 68 to produce his first under-par round of the tournament. His round featured four birdies and two bogeys, a relatively consistent display of golf. This performance led him to finish day one in a tie for 19th.

Sargent once again found red figures in round two, shooting 69. Seven consecutive pars on his back nine and three birdies on his front nine meant he would finish day one in a tie for seventh.

Sherwood shot even-par in his second round to finish day one in a tie for 7th as well. 

Moll again struggled to find his rhythm in round two, shooting another 72 to push him out of contention for the individual title. After a stellar first round, Van Paris battled in round two, shooting 72 to finish day one in a tie for 15th.

“When you play against great competition like we are this week, you cannot have lapses in focus, self-talk and attention to detail, and I thought we had some of that late in the day,” Limbaugh said. “Tomorrow is an important day for us, and we need to embrace that.”

Day two

In the third round on day two, the Commodores pulled off a comeback for the ages. In an unbelievable back-nine rally, Vanderbilt somehow beat the top-ranked team in the country, UNC, by one stroke after being down by seven strokes earlier that day. 

Riedel had another solid round on day two, shooting 68 to finish the tournament in a tie for 14th. A critical birdie on his 18th hole pushed the team into a tie for the lead, giving the Commodores hope for the team title. 

Moll battled all day to shoot 71 in the final round and finish the tournament in a tie for 40th. Van Paris shot 75 in his final round to finish in a tie for 34th. 

Both Sargent and Sherwood were at the top of the leaderboard all day, batting it out with some of college golf’s best to determine who would take home the individual title. Sargent was tied for the lead through 14 holes, but a costly bogey on the par-3 16th meant he couldn’t quite get the win. Nevertheless, the junior shot 68 in his final round, good enough for a tie for third place to finish the tournament.

Sherwood played a flawless back nine to capture not only his individual win, but the team win. After an underwhelming front nine, in which he made two bogeys and one birdie, Sherwood came alive on the back nine. 

“I knew we were a few back and so my goal was to go 4-under on the back nine,” Sherwood said.

He did just that, making four birdies and no bogeys on the back side to finish the day. Walking onto the 18th green, Sherwood was one back of the individual leader, and the team was still tied with UNC for the team title. With a short birdie putt on the final hole, Sherwood cashed it in for the Commodores to get their second win of the season and secure himself into a playoff for the individual title. 

“I’m really excited for Cole to get the individual win because it hasn’t been easy for him lately. He kept working and doing the right thing,” Limbaugh said. “He loves our team, and he wants so badly to help us be the best we can be.”

In what was Vanderbilt’s most exciting tournament of the season so far, the Commodores handled the pressure and made several clutch putts down the stretch. It was an unbelievable performance and shows the truly limitless potential of this deep roster.

Vanderbilt will return to action overseas to compete in the St. Andrews Links Collegiate in St. Andrews, Scotland, from Oct. 23-25.

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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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