PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — The Vanderbilt men’s golf season officially began Friday with 18 holes at Pebble Beach Golf Links as part of the Carmel Cup.
The Commodores shot a 1-over-par 361 as a team and are in seventh place after the first round of the three-round event.
Michael Shears led the Commodores on Friday with a 3-under-par 69. The Vandy senior carded six birdies on the day.
Fellow senior Harrison Ott is among the top 10 at 2-under-par after an opening round that included five birdies.
The other four Dores finished over par Friday. Gordon Sargent, making his Vandy debut, shot a 73, Matthew Riedel – who eagled No. 2 – shot a 74, William Moll was 3-over-par and Cole Sherwood finished with a 77.
“First of all, I was encouraged by how we battled at the end to finish well today. It’s the first round of the year so you really aren’t sure what to expect,” Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh said. “We started a little flat too and it set the tone in terms of us feeling like we had our backs against the wall. The mindset of a team is so important and it’s the coaches’ job to help the guys understand what we need to be focusing on and helping keep anxiety down.
“It’s the players’ job not to worry about all the external stuff that they can’t control. And it’s hard to do but so important. Michael looked in control all day and he finished strong. Harry was steady and had very good ball control all day. I thought Gordon looked good out there and in control and I know he will be ready Saturday.”
Georgia led the field Friday with a 5-under-par 355. Trent Phillips shot a 66 for the Bulldogs and leads all individuals.
Vanderbilt is scheduled to begin the second round at 9:10 a.m. Saturday.
“Saturday is moving day and we need to do some things better to get where we want to be,” Limbaugh said. “It’s going to take all six guys competing to a higher standard. We have to continue to fight for our values, limit any big numbers by trying to be less perfect and understand it’s up to us and what we do. That’s all we can control.”