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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.

Women’s Golf: Vanderbilt places fourth at NCAA Regionals, advances to NCAA Championships

The Commodores punched their ticket to the NCAA Championships for a third-straight year.
Vanderbilt Athletics
Vanderbilt Women’s Golf poses with its ticket to the NCAA Championships, as photographed on May 8, 2023. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

The Vanderbilt Women’s Golf team, ranked No. 20 in the nation, competed in the NCAA Regionals from May 6-8 in Bryan, Texas. The top five teams in each regional advance, and the Commodores, who finished in fourth place, secured a spot in the NCAA Championships later this month. Vanderbilt shot an 8-under 280 on Day Three, the low-round of the tournament, to vault up the leaderboard and advance deeper into the postseason.

The tournament was hosted at the par-72 Traditions Golf Club. Lynn Lim, Virginie Ding, Tillie Claggett, Ava Merrill and Celina Sattelkau were the starters for Vanderbilt.

On Day One, Vanderbilt ended in seventh place, two spots behind the cut line. Ding fired a 1-under 71 to pace the Commodores. After a 4-under 32 on the front nine, Ding struggled to keep up her stellar play, making two bogeys and a double bogey on her back nine. Nevertheless, her performance landed her in the top 10 after 18 holes. 

Sattelkau also had a solid round for Vanderbilt, shooting an even-par 72. Her round was a display of consistency as she made just one birdie and one bogey on the day. 

The other three Commodores failed to keep the big numbers off their scorecards, making a collective two double bogeys and one triple bogey on their final five holes. 

Lim finished with a 2-over 74 while Claggett and Merill struggled, both shooting an 80. 

“I thought for the most part, and with all things considered, we did a fairly decent job today,” head coach Greg Allen said after round one. “We had a few bad breaks from not being able to play a practice round that cost us and we made a few mistakes that were because of immaturity.”

On Day Two, Vanderbilt climbed up the leaderboard into sixth place and into contention for a top-five finish. 

Ding again had the low-round of the day for Vanderbilt, firing a 4-under 68 to sit in a tie for fourth-place after 36 holes. She made an impressive six birdies on the day and put herself in the running for the individual title. Ding was the only Commodore to shoot in red figures on Day Two. 

Merrill and Claggett bounced back from tough first rounds, shooting 74 and 73, respectively. They were able to keep big numbers off the scorecard and made several birdies each. 

Lim shot 73 and Sattelkau shot 75 for both to end up in the top 20 after 36 holes. 

“I’m so proud of the fight our girls showed today and the resiliency they displayed, especially on the back nine,” Allen said after round two. “Ding, Lynn [Lim] and Celina [Sattelkau] carried us on the front, then Ding really got hot on the back. Having Tillie and Ava fight back was huge for us as well.”

Upon the conclusion of Day Two, Vanderbilt found itself just two strokes behind fifth-place Ohio State but needed a low third round to secure a spot in the NCAA Championships. 

“Tomorrow is going to be fun and something we have been preparing for since August,” Allen said. “We need to make sure we control our emotions and stay locked in from start to finish.”

On Day Three, Vanderbilt had its strongest round of the tournament, firing an 8-under 280 to successfully advance to the NCAA Championships. It was a total team effort as three Vanderbilt players found red figures. 

Vanderbilt’s seniors led the charge. Sattelkau had the low-round of the day, shooting 68 with five birdies and just one bogey. She ended the regional in a tie for ninth, her third top-10 finish this season. Ding shot under-par for the third-straight day, shooting 70 to close out the tournament in a tie for third. 

“Our seniors were huge and played like they didn’t want their season ending today,” Allen said. “Celina [Sattelkau] looked like Celina again and Ding continues to play really good golf.”

Merrill had a stellar third round, shooting 69 to finish in a tie for 34th. Her six birdies were a huge boost for the Commodores as they were sitting on the cut line for a majority of the day. 

Lim ended with a round of 75 to finish in a tie for 28th while Claggett shot 73. 

“What a day for Vanderbilt women’s golf,” Allen said after round three. “Words can’t express how proud I am of these girls. They absolutely came out ready to play today, got locked in early and stayed that way until the end – very impressive.” 

Vanderbilt seems to be playing its best golf as it approaches the season finale. Following a 10th-place finish at the SEC Championships, this performance was just what the Commodores needed to get back on track. 

Vanderbilt will return to action at the NCAA Championships starting on May 17 in Carlsbad, Calif. 

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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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