SAN JOSE DEL CABO, Mexico – Despite posting their low score during the final day of competition Sunday, the Vanderbilt women’s golf team is leaving Mexico’s Baja Peninsula with a disappointing ninth-place finish in the Battle at the Beach.
The Commodores registered a 3-under-par 285 on Sunday, a 13-stroke improvement over their previous low round in the three-day event. Even with the improved play, the Commodores failed to vault up the leaderboard, which featured Ole Miss, LSU and Texas A&M from the Southeastern Conference among the top four finishers. Ole Miss captured the team trophy with a seven-point cushion over LSU.
Junior Louise Yu was the Commodore standout on the Club Campestre layout. Yu claimed a share of eighth place in the individual competition with a 2-under-par 214 total.
The Commodores, among the pre-tournament favorites to contend for the Battle at the Beach team title, struggled with the windy conditions Friday and Saturday. By Sunday, Greg Allen’s squad had too much work to rise in the team standings.
“We didn’t handle the expectations very well, and we tried to force things rather than staying committed to the process of just trying to hit good golf shots,” Allen said. “We’re obviously disappointed with how we played this week but I’m not discouraged. I know we have a ton of potential and hopefully we learn from this and use it to help us in the spring.”
Yu was the only Commodore to post a sub-par tournament total. Her performance, aided by three late birdies in the third round, impressed her coach.
“I’m proud of the week Lou (Yu) had for us and I’m really happy for her. She’s going to enter the spring off a good fall campaign,” Allen said.
Senior Abbey Carlson also produced a strong final round to claim a top-25 individual finish. Like Yu, Carlson finished impressively Sunday, making three birdies over her last five holes to record a 3-under-par 69. Carlson posted a 54-hole total of 3-over 219 to share 21st place.
Sophomore Auston Kim, the Commodores’ top player for much of the fall, started Sunday with three birdies in her first four holes, but could not keep the birdie barrage going. She finished the day with a 3-over 75, and claimed a tie for 36th individually.
After opening with two substandard rounds, junior Morgan Baxendale notched a 1-under 71 on Sunday. She finished in a tie for 67th place.
A third junior, Virginia Green, rounded the Commodore result with a 54-hole total of 233. She finished in a tie for 69th place.
The Commodores will return to competition before returning in February at the Northrop Grumman Challenge, scheduled Feb. 9-11 in Palos Verdes, Calif.
Battle at the Beach Final Results
9. Vanderbilt 298-300-285–883
T-8. Louise Yu (-2) 72-72-70–214
T-21. Abbey Carlson (+6) 75-75-69–219
T-36. Auston Kim (+4) 74-74-75–223
T-67. Morgan Baxendale (+17) 78-83-71–232
T-69. Virginia Green (+17) 77-79-77–233