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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 wins Mason Rudolph Championship for fifth-straight year

Gordon Sargent and the Commodores rolled over the competition in their home tournament.
Vanderbilt Athletics
William Moll tees off at the Mason Rudolph Championship, as photographed on April 5, 2024. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

The No. 3 Vanderbilt Men’s Golf team finished the regular season by hosting the Mason Rudolph Championship at Vanderbilt Legends Club from April 5-7. The Commodores conquered the rest of the field, winning by a staggering 18 strokes to emerge victorious at the Mason Rudolph Championship for the fifth-straight year. All of Vanderbilt’s players earned top-10 finishes and Gordon Sargent won the individual title by four strokes. 

Vanderbilt opted to start Cole Sherwood, Jackson Van Paris, Matthew Riedel, William Moll and Sargent at the par-71 South Course. 

On Day One, the Commodores got off to a hot start, carding an 8-under 276 to sit in first place after 18 holes. Sargent led the charge, shooting a 7-under 64 to sit in first place after round one. The future PGA TOUR member made seven birdies and no bogeys. 

Van Paris also strung together a bogey-free round, firing a 3-under 68 to sit in a tie for third. An eagle and a birdie on his back nine were enough to propel him up the individual leaderboard. 

“Gordon’s round was spectacular. He finished 7-under par with no bogeys and he looked really calm and in control,” head coach Scott Limbaugh said after round one. “Also, Jackson played outstanding[ly]. We had two players with no bogeys, and they carried the weight.”

Riedel was even-par with two birdies and two bogeys to finish the day in a tie for 15th. 

Moll and Sherwood struggled, shooting 75 and 73, respectively. 

On Day Two, Vanderbilt continued its dominance as it shot a collective 9-under 275 to take a comfortable 10-stroke lead heading into the final round. All of Vanderbilt’s players were able to shoot even-par or better, proving the consistency throughout the entire lineup. 

Van Paris had the round of the day as he shot a 4-under 67 to vault himself into solo second and just two shots back of Sargent. The junior had five birdies and a lone bogey to put together another solid round. 

“I thought Jackson has looked calm and in control during both days,” Limbaugh said. “His first bogey of the tournament came on Hole 16 today. I’m super proud of him and the consistency he has played with this week.”

Sargent shot 69 to retain his lead. A triple bogey on the par-4 fifth hole set him back, but three birdies and no bogeys on his back nine meant he would turn in his second consecutive round in red figures. 

Moll and Sherwood bounced back on Day Two, shooting 69 and 70, respectively. Both players earned five birdies on the day, enough to crack back into the top 30 on the individual leaderboard.

Riedel fired another even-par 71 to sit in a tie for 11th going into round three. 

“I thought we did a lot of good things today,” Limbaugh said. “We made a lot of birdies and took care of the holes that we were supposed to take care of.”

On Day Three, Vanderbilt was victorious with stellar play from all five starters. The Commodores finished with a team score of -30 and Sargent won the individual title for the second consecutive year. 

Sargent earned a comfortable four-stroke victory over Van Paris. A final round of 69 — capped off by an eagle on the par-5 sixth hole — was enough to defeat the rest of the field. 

“I feel like I drove it pretty well and had a decent amount of birdie looks,” Sargent said. “[I] was able to convert a few down the stretch.”

This marks the junior’s sixth collegiate victory and fifth top-10 finish this season. 

“[Sargent] had a lot of ball control all week long,” Limbaugh said of Sargent’s performance. “He just waited patiently today. He did a great job hanging in there all day long.”

Van Paris earned second place after a final round 71. It is Van Paris’ fourth top-10 finish this season and his game seems to be trending in the right direction heading into postseason play.

Riedel had the lowest round on Day Three, shooting 66 to lead the team. Seven birdies and two bogeys were enough to place him in a tie for third.

Both Moll and Sherwood shot 68 in round three to finish in a tie for ninth and seventh, respectively.   

Vanderbilt also fielded a B team, which consisted of Wells Williams, Ben Loomis, Chase Nevins and John Broderick. This team struggled to gain momentum all weekend, in large part due to only having four players, and finished in last place. 

The victory comes at a great time as Vanderbilt heads into postseason play and looks to hoist the National Championship trophy in May. 

“I think everything just needs to be tightened up a little bit,” Sargent said of what needs improvement heading into the postseason. “This is definitely good momentum going into the postseason, but just finding our focus and getting some good work in the next couple weeks will be huge.”

The Commodores will return to action at the SEC Championships in St. Simons Island, Ga. starting on April 24 and will look to win their third SEC title in four years. 

“We need to continue to understand how to be tough and try to become the toughest team we can become,” Limbaugh said. “We are going to get some rest over the next week and when we get ready to start back up, there’s a lot we can do better. I think that’s what great teams and players do: They embrace improvement.”

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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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