April 9, 2018
MACON, Ga. — The Vanderbilt women’s squad will take a lead into the final day of competition at Brickyard Collegiate after sharing the low team score Monday.
Paced by a three-under par 69 by freshman Morgan Baxendale, the Commodores registered a three-under par team total of 285 in the second round of play at the Brickyard Golf Club in Macon. Vanderbilt’s total tied Old Dominion for the lowest round Monday, and gives the Commodores an eight-stroke advantage over the runner-up Monarchs with 18 holes to play.
Head coach Greg Allen was pleased with the way his Commodores used a barrage of birdies to fight through a slow start and conclude with a nine-stroke improvement over the opening-round performance on Sunday.
“Today was one of the best we’ve had in terms of being patient,” said. “We didn’t get off to a great start but we made some birdies midway through the round and a few more coming in. It was a great team effort. They showed a lot of resilience out there.”
The Commodores will tee off Tuesday with a chance to capture their first tournament championship since tying for the title at the 2015 Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown.
Several Commodore players are also in contention for Brickyard Collegiate medalist honors. Baxendale owns a two-stroke lead over the 78-player field with a 36-hole total of two-under par 142. Baxendale’s freshman teammate Louise Yu is among three tied for second with a total of 144.
Allen acknowledged that the final round Tuesday will be a new experience for his young squad, which includes three contributing freshmen.
“It’s going to be fun and a great learning opportunity for this team. It will be very important for us to stick to our game plan, not get ahead of ourselves, and compete until the very end,” the coach added.
Vanderbilt’s advantage looked in jeopardy eight holes into the Monday round. Leading by a single stroke through eight holes, the Commodores widened the margin by producing six birdies over the next three holes. Baxendale, sophomore Abbey Carlson and junior Courtney Zeng each had two birdies during the span.
The Commodores pushed the margin to eight strokes with the same threesome combined for four birdies over the last three holes.
Baxendale’s 69 matched her collegiate low round. The product of Orlando, Fla. opened with two bogeys, then reeled off four birdies over her next eight holes. After a superb par-save at No. 16, Baxendale closed with birdies on her last two holes.
Yu continued her solid play. The native of Duluth, Ga. carded an even-par 72 despite not making a birdie over her final 10 holes. Zeng, from Orlando, and Carlson, from Lake Mary, Fla., came back strong after disappointing opening rounds. Zeng produced four birdies and played the back-nine in two-under par to finish with a 71. Carlson made three birdies over her final 10 holes to finish with a 73.
Virginia Green could never get untracked. After posting a 73 Sunday, she finished 12-over Monday.
The tournamen will feature a shotgun format for the final round Tuesday, with all teams starting at 8 a.m. CT. Vanderbilt will be paired with Old Dominion and Kennesaw State.
Brickyard Collegiate Team Results (36 holes)
Team Par Score
1. Vanderbilt +3 294-285=579
2. Old Dominion +11 302-285=587
3. Kennesaw State +18 305-289=594
4. Virginia Tech +21 302-295=597
5. Mercer +25 310-291=601
6. Troy +31 314-293=607
T-7. Chattanooga +35 302-309=611
T-7. Marshall +35 308-303=611
T-9. North Florida +42 312-306=618
T-9. LSU +42 319-299=618
T-9. ETSU +42 317-301=618
12. Jacksonville +44 316-303=620
13. Southern Miss +55 320-311=631
14. Samford +59 321-314=635