SAN JOSE DEL CABO, Mexico – The Vanderbilt women’s golf team is among the contenders for the Battle at the Beach, a three-day tournament starting Friday on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.
The Commodores, ranked among the top 15 nationally by Golfstat, Golfweek and the Women’s Golf Coaches Association, will open play at 10:30 a.m. Friday.
This marks Vanderbilt’s third appearance at the Battle of the Beach, held at scenic Club Campestre San Jose, a difficult 6,280-yard Jack Nicklaus design that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
The Vanderbilt lineup will feature senior Abbey Carlson, juniors Morgan Baxendale, Virginia Green and Louise Yu, and sophomore Auston Kim.
Head coach Greg Allen is anxious to see his squad back in action for its last tournament of the fall campaign. The Commodores, winners of the season-opening Cougar Classic, have not competed since Oct. 1 when they finished seventh in a strong field at the Windy City Collegiate Invitational in Chicago.
“I hope the girls are as excited as I am about getting back out there and competing. The break has been nice, but I’m ready to go,” Allen said. “This will be the first time since 2015 we haven’t had a freshman in our lineup so everybody in this group has seen the course and is familiar with it. We need to eliminate the big numbers that we’ve made in the past and trust our short game.”
Strong Field Awaits the Commodores
Vanderbilt is one of four top-25 teams expected to contend in the Battle at the Beach. The Commodores, ranked No. 12 by Golfstat, are joined by No. 13 Ole Miss, No. 19 LSU and No. 21 Virginia Tech as pre-tournament favorites.
The 16-team field also includes Denver, Kansas State, Indianapolis, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, San Jose State, Texas A&M, tournament host TCU, Texas Tech and UAB.
Kim Leads Commodores into Action
Kim ranks among the leading individuals participating in the 88-player Battle at the Beach. A sophomore from St. Augustine, Florida, Kim is ranked 19th nationally by Golfstat. Named to recent ANNIKA Award watch lists, Kim has a pair of top-10 finishes this fall, including a resounding wire-to-wire victory at the Cougar Classic.
Kim is one of six participants in the Battle at the Beach currently ranked in Golfstat’s top 100 collegiate players. Others include 10th-ranked Texas Tech junior Sofia Garcia, 18-ranked San Jose State sophomore Natasha Andrea, 24th-ranked LSU freshman Ingrid Lindblad of LSU and two of Kim’s Vanderbit teammates: Yu at No. 61 and Carlson at No. 71.
Carlson has experienced success at previous Battle at the Beach editions. She was the low Commodore in 2017 and 2018, topped by a seventh-place result last year.