SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Vanderbilt played a solid, steady round of golf Saturday on the Raptor Course at Grayhawk Golf Club and put itself in position to make the cut at the NCAA Championships.
Vandy was even-par for the day and is 13-over-par for the tournament. When action ended Saturday the Dores found themselves alone in 10th place and among those trending toward making the cut for Monday’s fourth round.
The top 15 teams at the end of Sunday’s final round advance to a fourth round of stroke play Monday.
“We knew today was an important day for us and we wanted to continue to trust our plan and stay patient and our boys did that which is exciting,” Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh said. “I’m really proud of the way we competed and pleased with how we finished the round really strong for the second day in a row. The guys were excited to get out there early this morning and have a little better conditions and when our guys are excited they seem to compete really well.”
Over going 2-over-par as a team through nine holes Saturday, Vandy began to find some momentum on the back stretch that it hopes carries over into Sunday.
William Moll eagled the par 4 second and Matthew Riedel and Cole Sherwood each birdied the par 4 sixth. Sherwood also birdied the par 3 eighth and par 4 ninth to end his day 4-under-par while rising up the board into a tie for 16th.
“I think a big thing was being off in the morning and having fresh greens,” Sherwood said. “I had a lot better numbers today, got to hit a lot stock shots and I felt really confident with my irons so I could attack a few more pins than I did (Friday).
“I lot of people here are rookies. I don’t really try to make more of it than it is. It’s just another golf tournament. You’re still playing golf and still have to get the ball in the hole so that’s what I’ve been focused on.”
Riedel ended his day at 2-under-par – thanks to two birdies on his final four holes – and is tied for 26th at 2-over-par. Michael Shears (tied for 55th), who started the day even par and tied for 28th overall, was 5-over-par and hurt by a double bogey on 6.
Despite his eagle, Moll (+13, tied for 132nd) struggled for a second straight day and came in at 6-over-par. Reid Davenport (+6) was 1-over-par Saturday and is tied for 71st.
“Cole got a lot out of his round today and putted it great and birdied three of his last four holes. He managed to post a bogey free round which was huge for our team,” Limbaugh said. “Matthew has a good plan and he’s tough enough to stick with it and he got some putts to drop coming in which was great to see. Reid looks good and he is close to playing a good round and Michael hung in there all day which is big. William hasn’t had his best stuff, but he’s a leader for us and we all believe in him and I believe he will be there going forward.”
Oklahoma State, led by individual leader Bo Jin (-8), shot 6-under-par as a team Saturday and moved into sole possession of first place.
Vanderbilt now turns its attention to Sunday’s final round. The Commodores will begin their third round at 9:27 a.m. CT from the 10th hole.
“It’s important for us to continue to embrace the course and be tough enough to stick with our plans,” Limbaugh said. “This group believes in each other and we have to continue to compete to our standards, have some fun,= and not worry about the finish line. Every guy has to put their blinders on and focus on the right things at the right times.
“It’s not easy to do, but that’s what it takes. I’m excited to see our guys compete again (Sunday). We need our fans to continue to lift the boys up.”
Quartet of Commodores Named All-Region
Four Vanderbilt student-athletes have been named Division I PING All-Region for the Southeast Region the Golf Coaches Association of American announced Saturday.
Davenport, Moll, Riedel and Sherwood were all recognized by the organization for their stellar 2020-21 seasons.