Dores Comeback to Win the Valero Texas Collegiate

Vanderbilt cards 12-under 276 in Round 3 to complete the comeback victory

SAN ANTONIO – While it might not be the Alamo, the Vanderbilt men’s golf team will remember the final round of play at the Valero Texas Collegiate. The No. 3-ranked Commodores carded a remarkable 12-under 276 in Round 3 to erase a 3-stroke deficit and storm back to win the tournament’s team title.

Entering Monday’s third round, Vanderbilt found itself in third place but only trailed leader TCU by three strokes. The Horned Frogs still held a 3-stroke lead over the Dores approaching the back nine, but that was when Vandy began its comeback trail.

The Commodores shot an impressive 10-under as a team on the back nine to end the day at 12-under 276 and posted a 5-stroke victory over TCU to claim their first team title of the 2023-24 campaign. It is the first team win for Vandy since capturing first place at the Mason Rudolph Championship last spring, while it is the 36th team tournament title the Commodores have won under head coach Scott Limbaugh.

“We got off to a better start today, which I thought was big,” said Limbaugh. “We were right there going into the back nine, but we had to make some things happen. I thought the No. 12 hole was big for us. Gordon had birdied 11 and then our next four guys all birdied No. 12. Our guys were calm and composed under pressure and I’m super proud of them.

Jackson really found his rhythm with his swing and made some huge putts. A lot of our guys weren’t feeling great this week, but they battled through it. It was nice to see Gordon finish the way he did. He made a 25-foot putt on his last hole and that was huge for us.”

Graduate student Matthew Riedel led the comeback charge for Vanderbilt, as the All-American carded a season-best 6-under 66 in Round 3 to move up 19 spots on the player leaderboard and end the tournament in a tie for fifth. Riedel turned it up a notch on the back nine of the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio, as he collected five birdies over his final eight holes to finish the tournament at 4-under 212.

“Matthew’s effort today was huge for our team,” said Limbaugh of Riedel’s play. “We struggled yesterday as a team, and as a coach, you’re always looking for guys to step up, stay positive, and not be negative. I’m really proud of Matthew. He stayed positive with everybody and got in good practice with his golf swing yesterday afternoon. I think Matthew’s positive outlook really allowed him to finish the way that he did today. That says a lot about who he is.”

Junior Jackson Van Paris was nearly as sharp as Riedel on the back nine in Round 3, as he carded 3-under over his final nine holes to post a 69 (-3) in the final round. Van Paris’ performance on Monday put him in a tie for eighth on the player leaderboard, as the All-American ended his first tournament of the season at 3-under 213. The junior collected 16 birdies over three days of play, which led the field at the Valero Texas Collegiate.

Graduate student William Moll also finished inside the top 10 on the player leaderboard, as he posted a 54-hole score of 2-under 214 to finish in a tie for 10th. Moll capped off his stay in San Antonio by posting a Round 3 score of 1-under 71, as the Houston, Texas native led the field with two eagles. Junior Gordon Sargent carded 2-under 70 in Round 3 to post his second under-par round of the tournament and finish in a tie for 19th at 1-over 217.

Senior Cole Sherwood concluded the tournament in a tie for 27th after carding 3-over 219 to round out the team scoring for Vanderbilt. Sophomore Wells Williams, who was playing as an individual at the Valero Texas Collegiate, wrapped up his first tournament of the season in a tie with Sherwood for 27th on the player leaderboard.

“Winning never gets old, but you’re always looking to improve,” Limbaugh expressed. “Hats off to TCU and Baylor. They really pushed us hard, but we were just a little bit better down the stretch. We pride ourselves on finishing, that’s our standard and the guys did that today. Sometimes winning covers up things that we have to do better. Our competitive character was outstanding, but there were some things we’ll have to do better. We’re not going to overlook those, and we’ll look into ways to get better, but we’re certainly going to celebrate the win. It was a big win and we have about two weeks to get rested and ready for Birmingham.”

Vanderbilt will be back in action for the SEC Fall Preview on Sept. 25-27. The tournament will take place at the Country Club of Birmingham West Course in Birmingham, Alabama.

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