SUNSET, S.C. – The Vanderbilt women’s golf squad took command at the Clemson Invitational Monday by firing an 11-under-par 277 at The Reserve at Lake Keowee.
Greg Allen‘s Commodores will enter the third and final round with an eight-stroke lead over Southeastern Conference foe Auburn. The host Clemson Tigers are alone in third place, five strokes further back.
Through two rounds, Vanderbilt owns a 21-under-par 555, the squad’s lowest 36-hole tally since the season-opening Powerade Cougar Classic.
In addition, three Commodore standouts are in the hunt for medalist honors after under-par rounds. Senior Courtney Zeng and freshman Auston Kim are in a tie for third, with junior Abbey Carlson just off their pace in fifth.
Allen was pleased with the second-round performance, though he knows the team will need another stellar round Tuesday to capture their program-tying fifth tournament title of the year.
“It was another really good day for our team. The girls continued to look sharp and play with a lot of focus today,” Allen said. “We talked about the potential of weather delays and I’m proud of how they handled it. Court (Zeng), Auston and Abbey are playing some really great golf right now. And Lou (Louise Yu) made two big birdies for us on her last three holes.
“Tomorrow is just our next round of golf. We will focus on the things that we can control like attitude, effort and body language.”
Tied for the lead after the opening round Sunday, the Commodores came out firing Monday to claim first place. They made nine early birdies, then finished on another high note with a birdie barrage to close the round.
Collectively, the five Commodore players amassed 21 birdies. Vanderbilt’s second-round score was five strokes better than any team.
The trio of Kim, Zeng, and Carlson combined to shoot 11-under par. They amassed 17 birdies during the round.
Kim marched up the leaderboard early by making four birdies on the front hole. Just when she appeared to cool off, the freshman finished with birdies on three of her final five holes. Kim finished with a 4-under 68, and with a two-day total of 7-under 137, she is just one stroke off the individual lead.
Zeng in the midst of the best golf of her collegiate career and providing superb veteran leadership for Allen’s squad, fired five birdies in a round of 3-under 69. She’s tied with Kim in the medalist race, a stroke behind Tennessee’s Micheala Williams and Auburn’s Julie McCarthy.
Carlson wasn’t to be out-done by her teammates. She posted three front-nine birdies, then finished with two late birdies in a round of 4-under 68. Carlson’s two-day 6-under 138 is tied for fifth among 96 golfers.
Yu is tied for 18th place individually, after shooting even-par 72 on Monday. Yu also closed impressively, with birdies on two of her final three holes.
The fifth Commodore, Morgan Baxendale, improved five strokes from her opening round with a 2-over 74.
The Commodores will be paired with Auburn and Clemson in the final round, with tee times starting at 8:39 a.m. CT. Live results and final-round pairings can be found at Golfstat.com.
Clemson Invitational Second Round Results
1. Vanderbilt -21 555 (278-277)
Vanderbilt Individual Scores