ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Vanderbilt will defend its SEC title Sunday.
The Commodores won two matches Saturday at the SEC Championships on the Seaside Course on St. Simons Island, Georgia, to advance to the final where they’ll face Florida.
Vandy will tee off at 7 a.m. looking to capture a second straight league championship. It got one win from all five players Saturday.
“It’s why we’ve tried to build a program that way, with guys that want those shots and are willing to take and even willing to fail doing it – that’s golf. Just got to be willing to put it all out there not knowing what you’re going to get back,” Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh said. “We feel excited to advance, we’re not taking anything for granted and certainly know we’re going to play an outstanding opponent Sunday.”
Vanderbilt, the No. 1 seed, beat Mississippi State early Saturday to qualify for the semifinals against LSU, the No. 4 seed.
With the match against the Tigers all square at 2-2, the decisive matchup came down to Reid Davenport and Michael Sanders. Davenport sank his par putt on 15 to win 4&3 and send the Commodores into the finals.
Gordon Sargent was the first Commodore to notch a victory when he beat Garrett Barber 4&2. Cole Sherwood then closed out Drew Doyle with a 3&2 victory – that result tied the score at 2-2 and left it up to Davenport, senior, to close it out.
“We knew we were going to be pushed,” Limbaugh said. “Good to see Cole and Gordon bounce back. They’re obviously a big part of what we’ve done, two of the best players in the country so really proud of them. Cole flipped a switch over there on 8 this afternoon and took control of his match. The shots he hit under pressure were pretty cool.”
Vanderbilt and Florida, the No. 3 seed which knocked off Texas A&M 3-1-1, are scheduled to tee off at 6:30 a.m. Sunday will live coverage provided by SEC Network.
Live scoring for Sunday’s final can be found HERE.
“I think we can play a little better. I thought everybody had good times (Saturday), but I think as a whole we need to play a little bit better,” Limbaugh said. “We need to get our minds fresh tonight and just be really excited and enthused for the opportunity Sunday. You’re going to go have to take it from somebody that wants it just as bad as you do. And you can’t expect them to stumble.”
Commodores 3, Bulldogs 2
Vanderbilt began Saturday by defeating Mississippi State 3-2 to move to the semifinals Saturday.
The match ultimately came down Davenport and Ruan Pretorius who had to play a 19th hole after an 18-hole tie. Davenport’s par gave him a 1-up win and clinched the victory.
“Want to give a lot of credit to Mississippi State. I never thought it would be anything but a challenging match, mentally and physically. They played awesome. They got a great coach and they really showed a lot of toughness out there,” Limbaugh said. “Super proud of the resiliency that we showed. It could have gone either way. We feel thankful. Our kids responded.”