Gordon Sargent earns a new rank: PGA TOUR member

A deep dive into Gordon Sargent’s journey from Vanderbilt to the PGA Tour.
Gordon Sargent has dominanted on the golf course since coming to Vanderbilt. (Hustler Multimedia/Lexie Perez)
Gordon Sargent has dominanted on the golf course since coming to Vanderbilt. (Hustler Multimedia/Lexie Perez)
Lexie Perez

“Good golf takes care of everything,” Gordon Sargent told The Hustler. 

Sargent has lived by this motto throughout his amateur golf career. When faced with tough decisions and high-pressure moments, Sargent believes that putting his best foot forward and playing good golf can solve anything. 

This saying has never felt more true for Sargent. He recently teed off at the World Amateur Team Championships in Abu Dhabi. His first tee shot didn’t just echo through Abu Dhabi Golf Club, but around the world. Just by teeing off at the WATC, Sargent earned his 20th point in the PGA TOUR University Accelerated program and his PGA TOUR Card. He now can turn professional for the 2024-25 season. His lifelong goal came true, and all eyes were on him.  Sargent’s “good golf” has taken care of everything, including his job for the next couple of years.

“I was in Abu Dhabi and I knew it was coming,” Sargent said. “It still probably hasn’t sunk in yet because I’m still here in college, but I now have a sigh of relief knowing what will happen after college.”

Sargent is the first player ever to complete the PGA TOUR University Accelerated program and his card will be activated after the NCAA Championships in May. He has earned this honor by accomplishing the greatest achievements in amateur golf. Sargent has competed at The Masters, won low amateur at the U.S. Open, gone 4-0 at the prestigious Walker Cup and won an individual national championship as a freshman, just to name a few. His resume speaks for itself.

But Sargent didn’t just get to this point on his own. His family, coaches and teammates all shaped him into the golfer he is today.  

“[My parents] never forced me to play, and they were never mad at me if I played bad[ly]. They never loved me any different,” Sargent said. 

Sargent’s domination on the links came long before Vanderbilt. Before his senior year of high school, the Birmingham, Ala., native won the Alabama Men’s State Amateur Championship with a record-breaking score of 24-under par through four days. He won the same tournament the very next year. With these accomplishments and being named the USA Today Male Golfer of the Year, Sargent followed in the footsteps of his father.

Sargent’s father, Seth, is an amateur golfer who has made appearances in the Crump Cup and the George C. Thomas Invitational. Seth’s success on the golf course inspired Gordon to pick up golf. Although Seth was a dominant golfer, he always prioritized the happiness and mental health of Gordon. It was Gordon’s imperative to pick up golf seriously, not Seth’s.

“I don’t really care what my kids are doing as long as they’re doing what they love to do and have success doing it,” Seth Sargent said. 

The 20-year-old is definitely having success doing what he loves. Thanks to his supporting staff and classmates, Sargent feels right at home at Vanderbilt. Playing for the Commodores has pushed Sargent in the perfect way both mentally and physically.

“My coaches and teammates here at Vanderbilt.” Sargent said of who has pushed him to achieve in golf. “There are some people in life that don’t view you as a golf score but view you as a person. It helps you take your game to the next level.”

Sargent’s mentality has translated into a collegiate golf career full of triumphant moments on and off the golf course. He has dominated amateur golf with the Commodores, being a staple in Vanderbilt’s lineup for the past three years, winning five individual titles and helping the Commodores remain at the top of college golf. Sargent is a leader for this Vanderbilt squad, inspiring this team to never be satisfied.

While Sargent emphasizes that his team always comes first, his individual accomplishments in amateur golf are impressive. Particularly, Sargent thought his participation in the Walker Cup this summer was the greatest achievement in his amateur career.

 

“The Walker Cup was definitely the coolest thing I’ve been a part of in golf. Everyone you talk to talks about how big of a deal it is, representing your country, but it doesn’t really sink in until you’re actually on the team.” Sargent said. 

He attributes his success to head coach Scott Limbaugh and the culture Limbaugh has built at Vanderbilt.

“Vanderbilt golf has a different culture than most programs,” Sargent said. “Coach Limbaugh is going to love you whether you play good golf or bad golf no matter what. He didn’t recruit us just to get us to be better golfers but also to be better humans.”

Sargent’s storied amateur career has prepared him for professional golf. From the moment he arrived on West End, he has been a star. Just as a freshman, he was hitting 190+ mph ball speeds and sinking putts in big moments. Now, Sargent is ready for the big stage.

Sargent looks to finish his junior season at Vanderbilt and potentially fill the one gap on his resume: a team national title. Coach Limbaugh’s squad has yet to break through and win a NCAA Championship. However, this year could be the team’s turn to conquer college golf and take home a trophy. Sargent’s consistent success has been key in Vanderbilt’s late pushes at the NCAA Championships in the past two seasons. Behind Sargent’s leadership and skill, the Commodores will look to win their first National Title come May. A national title would be the cherry on top for Sargent as he potentially concludes this chapter of life. 

“[Win] a national championship with the team,” Sargent said of what he has yet to accomplish in collegiate golf. “That’s what I came to Vanderbilt for and we haven’t gotten there yet. That’s definitely number one on the list.”

Sargent will face a big decision after this season. Sargent has the option to accept his PGA TOUR card for 2024 and turn professional following the NCAA National Championships in May, or he can play one more year of college golf. The PGA TOUR will be waiting for him whenever he chooses to finish college. 

“There is definitely a chance [I stay]. It’s not the easiest decision. There are worse things to be deciding between,” Sargent said. “There’s not really a specific timetable as to when I feel like I need to decide, probably by mid-April. But ideally during this offseason, I’ll figure out where I’m at, and then just go from there.”

While his time left at Vanderbilt is unknown, one thing is certain: his legacy. Sargent has followed in the footsteps of Vanderbilt golf legends Brandt Snedeker, Luke List and John Augenstein. He has also reached new heights, such as winning the individual national championship trophy as a freshman for the first time since 2007

“I’m pretty humble and will always represent the Vanderbilt community with class,” Sargent said. “There’s a lot more to life than golf.”

As the spring season awaits, Sargent will look to continue his dominant play as the Commodores hope to make a deep postseason push. Regardless of whether Sargent ends his collegiate golf with a national championship trophy, he will continue to learn on and off the golf course. For advice, Sargent goes to the likes of Justin Thomas and other professional golfers.

“Justin Thomas has taken me under his wing,” Sargent said. “There have been a bunch of guys that I’ve been able to play with the past couple summers and see how they play and get advice and information from them. There is always stuff to be learned.”

From being the youngest player to win the Alabama State Amateur Tournament to becoming the first player to earn a PGA TOUR Card through the PGA TOUR University Accelerated program, Sargent is comfortable with defying the odds. Whenever he embarks onto the professional golf circuit, Sargent will look to continue setting records.

Whenever Sargent heads to the PGA TOUR, he will hold close the friendships and connections he made at Vanderbilt. Thanks to the guidance of Limbaugh, Sargent will leave Vanderbilt as a better golfer and leader than he was when he came to West End in Fall 2021. In October, Sargent earned a new rank when he became a PGA TOUR member, but not much has changed. His work ethic and attitude remain the same as he attempts to use the lessons he learned at Vanderbilt to succeed in professional golf.

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About the Contributors
Andrew Wilf, Sports Editor
Andrew Wilf (’24) is Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. He is from Livingston, N.J., and is majoring in history and minoring in business. He joined the sports staff his freshman year, previously serving as a Staff Writer, Assistant Sports Editor and Deputy Sports Editor. Beyond writing for The Hustler, he is also the host of Anchor Analysis, Commodore Clash and Live From West End. In his free time, Andrew enjoys watching the NFL and playing golf. He can be reached at [email protected].
Henry Oelhafen, Sports Copy 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].
Lexie Perez, Graphics Director
Lexie Perez (‘26) is from Northern Virginia and is majoring in climate studies and human and organizational development and minoring in business in the College of Arts and Science. She enjoys listening to 70s and 80s pop music, doing the daily Wordle and rooting for the Nashville Predators and Cincinnati Bengals. She can be reached at [email protected].
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