FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The No. 4 Vanderbilt Commodore men’s golf team surged 10 spots to the top of the leader board on the second day of play at their own Mason Rudolph Championship after carding a 15-under-par 269 team total on Saturday. The Commodores counted three scores in the 60’s, with senior Will Gordon’s 63 leading the way for Vanderbilt. Fellow senior Patrick Martin carded a 4-under-par 67, and sophomore Harrison Ott added a 2-under 69.
Vanderbilt, who started the day in a tie for 10th and 15 strokes behind team leader Tennessee, tallied 24 birdies and an eagle on Saturday, with Gordon pouring in eight birdies and the eagle. On the back nine, the senior from Davidson, N.C. had five birdies and an eagle.
For the tournament, the Commodores lead the field in par-three scoring (3.00) and birdies (42), with Gordon leading the tournament in birdies with 12. Vanderbilt also has three players in the top 13 for the tournament, with Gordon in a tie for fifth, Martin in a tie for ninth, and junior John Augenstein in a tie for 13th. Augenstein carded a 1-under-par 70 in his round on Saturday.
“We always talk about being able to respond to any situation that we have and I thought our boys responded well today,” said Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh. “I’m really happy the way they battled yesterday to hold that round together. It gave us a lot of momentum. I know all everyone else saw was the scoreboard, but what I saw was a lot of competitive character. That’s why you never give in, you may just find something out about yourself that you like during that battle. Gordo was really good today and I thought he did a fantastic job staying patient with his round and just allowed the round to happen. Patrick played steady all day long and putted the ball very nice. Harrison is taking good steps right now and John is playing well, and it feels like he left some out there today. We knew we needed to play the par 5s better today and I thought we played them great on the back nine.”
Vanderbilt has a four-stroke lead on second-place Tennessee and Coastal Carolina. Individually, Marquette’s Austin Kendziorski leads the field with a 10-under-par 132 total (66-66), one shot better than Steven Fisk of Georgia Southern and Nolan Ray of Tennessee.
“Today was a lot closer to playing to our standards,” said Limbaugh. “Tomorrow is our next opportunity to take another good step. It’s about going to play the next shot, believing in yourself, and that is where our focus needs to be. I believe in this group and I know I am excited to watch them compete tomorrow.”
The third and final round will conclude on Sunday with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start. Live stats can be found on Golfstat.com.
1. Vanderbilt – 284-269=553
T5. Will Gordon – 73-63=136
T10. Patrick Martin – 70-67=137
T13. John Augenstein – 68-70=138
T28. Harrison Ott – 73-69=142
T61. Reid Davenport – 75-72=147
17. Vanderbilt B – 294-301=595
T56. Andrew Jacobe – 73-73=146
T61. Michael Shears – 71-76=147
T70. Luke Zieman – 75-74=149
86. Mason Greenberg – 75-78=153