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.

Women’s Golf: Vanderbilt finishes third at Ron Moore Intercollegiate after closing surge

Strong performances on the final day of competition are becoming the norm for Greg Allen’s Commodores.
Freshman+Ava+Merrill+led+the+Commodores+at+the+Ron+Moore+Intercollegiate+in+the+best+performance+of+her+young+career.+%28Vanderbilt+Athletics%29
Vanderbilt Athletics
Freshman Ava Merrill led the Commodores at the Ron Moore Intercollegiate in the best performance of her young career. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

After a sensational Sunday performance catapulted Vanderbilt to a first-place finish at the Mason Rudolph Championship, the Commodores manufactured a closing-time comeback once again to finish third at the Ron Moore Intercollegiate.

“I am really proud of the fight we showed today,” head coach Greg Allen said after the final day of competition. “In the end, we made some mistakes that cost us going low enough.”

The Denver, Colo., tournament was Vanderbilt’s third outing of the 2023 season and featured 13 other schools — including host Denver, eventual champion California-Berkeley and Power Five opponents Colorado, Kansas, Oregon State, Washington State and Wisconsin. Vanderbilt finished with -15 to narrowly clinch third place over the aforementioned Jayhawks.

The tournament was highlighted by the team-leading performance of freshman Ava Merrill. The first-year Commodore from Johns Creek, Ga., started strong in the opening round with a 3-under 69 that was good for fifth on the day. After a slight decline to 2-under 71 in the second round but a 3-under 69 repeat on the closing day, Merrill finished at -7 and tied for fourth individually at the tournament.

“She [Merrill] is absolutely tough as nails and was really clutch for us this week,” Allen said. 

Sophomore Tillie Claggett, the hero of the Carmel Cup and member of the 2022 All-SEC Freshman Team, was the second leading Vanderbilt player on the weekend. Her strongest performance came on the final day with a 3-under 69 that, alongside the same score from Merrill, helped to boost the Commodores from sixth to third place by the tournament’s close. Through all three days, the Woodlands, Texas, native finished at -5 in a tie for ninth individually. 

Youth was a theme for the Commodores as the aforementioned freshman and sophomore were joined in the starting lineup by freshman Charlene Chung, sophomore Lynn Lim and senior Virginie Ding. Chung, Lim and Ding finished the tournament at +5, even and -3, respectively. Freshman Macie Brown also competed as an individual and finished with +11.

Vanderbilt will next travel all the way to St. Andrews, Scotland to compete at the St. Andrews Links Intercollegiate from Oct. 23-25. The overseas tournament will be the Commodores’ last competition of the fall semester.

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About the Contributor
Jayce Pollard, Assistant Sports Specialist
Jayce Pollard (‘25) is a student in the College of Arts and Science majoring in public policy and economics and minoring in data science and Spanish. Outside of writing for The Hustler, you can catch Jayce trying to learn the rules of soccer, hating on the Arkansas Razorbacks and being chronically on Twitter. He can be reached at [email protected]
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