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.

Putting across the pond: Women’s Golf competes at St. Andrews of Scotland

Vanderbilt’s women’s golf team finished in second place at the inaugural St. Andrews Links Collegiate.
Vanderbilt Athletics
Vanderbilt competes in the 2021 SEC Championships. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

From Oct. 23-25, Vanderbilt Women’s Golf went across the pond to St. Andrews, Scotland to compete in the St. Andrews Links Collegiate. The Commodores competed without graduate student Celina Sattelkau, who will instead be competing for Germany at the World Amateur Team Championship which began on Oct. 23. Representing Vanderbilt was Ava Merrill, TIllie Claggett, Lynn Lim, Virginie Ding, Sara Im and Charlee Chung. 

Vanderbilt competed against three other American universities: Georgetown, North Carolina and Notre Dame. The event format counted the teams’ five best scores each day, while the championship match was scored on a stroke total system where the individual with the lower stroke total winning the pairing. 

The Commodores ended their first day of tournament play with a 16-over-par, 376-stroke performance, which tied them for third place with Georgetown. Both Merrill and Ding posted 1-over-par 73 performances which tied the teammates for third place at the end of the day. Lim was also tied for ninth place after posting a 3-over par 75 performance. Rounding out Commodore play in the first round was Im, who collected a 4-over 76 with three birdies on the front nine holes, while Chung and Claggett also shot 79 and 80 on the day respectively. After the first round, the Commodores led all other teams in total birdies with 17, three more than that of the next team. 

“The conditions got really tough the last six-seven holes and I don’t think we handled that very well…[However] we have another day to make sure we finish inside the top two and play for the championship on Wednesday,” head coach Greg Allen said.

The Commodores finished their second round with a 13-over par showing, which was good enough to secure a spot in the championship match on Wednesday against the North Carolina Tar Heels. 

Leading through two days for the Commodores was Merrill, whose 1-under-par 71 performance clinched the Commodores a spot in the championship. Merrill had  four birdies on Monday. Additionally, Chung and Im collected 3-over-par 75 rounds, respectively. 

“We played great at times,” Allen said. “We got into trouble and made big numbers at times. But in the end, we found a way to hang in there and get the job done.”

In the final round of play in the tournament, the Commodores fell to the North Carolina Tar Heels in stroke play, 4-2. Lim teed off for the Commodores to start the day giving them a 1-0 lead after she defeated Crista Izuzquiza by two strokes (75-77). The Black and Gold dropped their second pairing between Chung (VU) and Ladplum (UNC), but regained the lead with Claggett (VU) defeating Aseguinolaza (UNC) by five strokes (75-80). However, Vanderbiltdropped the remaining three matchups with Merrill, Im, and Ding falling short of their tarheel opponent by two, six and five strokes respectively. 

Although the Commodores did not bring home the championship trophy, the opportunity of playing at the most historic golf course culminated in an unforgettable experience.

“Getting to compete at St. Andrews, the home of golf, is something we will not take for granted,” Allen said before play started.

With their second-place finish at the St. Andrews Links Collegiate, the women’s fall season has come to an end. Play will resume again on Feb. 5, 2024 in Boca Raton, Fla. with the FAU Paradise Invitational.

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About the Contributor
Grace Hall
Grace Hall, Deputy Sports Editor
Grace Hall (‘26) is from Belfast, Maine, and is majoring in public policy studies in the College of Arts and Science. Grace is also the vice-president of the Vanderbilt Club Field Hockey Team. When not writing for The Hustler you can find her watching the Boston Red Sox or Celtics, reading or at a concert. You can reach her at [email protected].
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