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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 places second at Valspar Collegiate Invitational

Matthew Riedel finished in a tie for second and earned SEC Co-Golfer of the Week honors.
Vanderbilt Athletics
Matthew Riedel tees off at the Valspar Collegiate Invitational, as photographed on March 26, 2024. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

After winning the Pauma Valley Invitational just a week ago, the No. 3 Vanderbilt Men’s Golf team returned to action at the Valspar Collegiate Invitational in Palm City, Fla. from March 25-26. The Commodores placed second overall, finishing four strokes behind the Florida State Seminoles. 

Vanderbilt was led by Matthew Riedel who fired an astonishing 7-under 64 in round three to finish in a tie for second individually and vault the team up the leaderboard. In the end, the team score of -15 was not enough to conquer a loaded field in Florida. 

Cole Sherwood, Gordon Sargent, Jackson Van Paris, William Moll and Riedel earned the start for Vanderbilt at the par-71 Floridian National Golf Club. The tournament was split over two days, with 36 holes being played on Day One and 18 holes being played on Day Two.

On Day One, the Commodores carded a 3-under 565 through two rounds of golf. Vanderbilt held the lead after round one, shooting a collective 5-under 279, but then shot a 2-over 286 in round two to finish in a tie for third after 36 holes. 

Sargent paved the way in round one, shooting a 3-under 68 to pace the Commodores. Five birdies and two bogeys put him in good position on the individual leaderboard. 

Riedel fired a 69 while Sherwood shot 70 to finish round one. A plethora of birdies from both players pushed them up the individual leaderboard and helped Vanderbilt hold a one stroke lead over the field heading into round two.

Moll and Van Paris couldn’t find red figures in the first round, shooting 72 and 75, respectively. 

In round two, the Commodores struggled to maintain their momentum. Van Paris was a bright spot among some high scores as the junior shot 69 in some tough conditions. His round was highlighted by an eagle on the par-4 sixth hole and he also cashed in five birdies to put him in a tie for 27th. 

Moll bounced back from round one shooting 70 and Riedel fired an even-par 71 to finish the day in a tie for 10th. 

Sargent shot 76 to finish the day in a tie for 27th and Sherwood had a disastrous triple bogey on his final hole to shoot 77. 

“It was a long, tough day out there today,” head coach Scott Limbaugh said after Day One. “The wind blew hard, and the course provided a great test. I’m pleased with the way we battled and fought all day long. I’m excited to see all five of our guys embrace doing that tomorrow and compete to our standard.”

On Day Two, the Commodores had seven strokes to make up. Vanderbilt was able to shoot a tournament-low 12-under 272 but were unable to make up the ground to beat Florida State. 

Sherwood and Riedel were the stars of the day, shooting 66 and 64, respectively. Riedel cashed in a tournament-high nine birdies en route to the lowest score of the tournament. It was an unbelievable display of golf as he climbed into a tie for second, his second top-five finish of the season. 

After a rough second round, Sherwood bounced back in round three, making five birdies and an eagle to finish his day. He finished the tournament in a tie for 23rd. 

“Obviously, Matthew [Riedel] and Cole [Sherwood] played awesome today and did a great job staying locked in,” Limbaugh said. “Matthew was rock solid all week and his emotional maturity really helps him on days like today. It’s really cool to see Cole bounce back after his tough finish last night.”

Moll had a solid third round, shooting 70 to secure a tie for 15th individually. He shot back-to-back rounds of 70, showing signs of consistency and maturity on a tough golf course. 

Van Paris struggled in round three, shooting 72 to finish in a tie for 32nd. Sargent had a brutal third round, shooting 77 after a quadruple bogey on his final hole of the day. He finished in a tie for 65th, his worst finish of the season. 

“I’m proud of the guys and how we played today,” Limbaugh said after round three. “We wanted to come out ready and focused to finish this part of our season strong, which I believe we did. It’s always great to have the low round on closing day.”

The Commodores might not have secured a victory this week, but there were signs of this team’s ability to shoot low numbers down the stretch. 

“We did a lot of good things this week,” Limbaugh said. “There’s also a lot of things we have to do better to be the team we know we can be. Those are the things that keep us from being the best version of ourselves.”

Vanderbilt will return to action when it hosts the Mason Rudolph Championship at Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn. from April 5-7. 

“Next weekend is our only home event of the year. This group of seniors has done so much for this program and they are a standard of excellence on and off the course,” Limbaugh said.

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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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