Dores Ready for National Stage

Vanderbilt tees off at NCAA Championships on Friday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt women’s golf is set for its 11th NCAA Championships appearance this week, coming off its first NCAA Regional title since 2019 and fourth in program history. Hosted by Arizona State, the NCAA Championships will be held at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, from May 20-25.

Friday marks the opening round of the NCAA Championships on the Raptor Course, where the Commodores will join 23 other programs.

“What a ride it’s been the last 10 days,” said head coach Greg Allen. “I told them so many times during the month of March that our time was coming. We started getting some confidence and momentum at SECs last month and it was so special to see it all come together on our home golf course last week at NCAA Regionals.

“We took a couple days after that to enjoy and celebrate graduation with Lou (Louise Yu) and Auston (Kim). Now, it’s back to work.”

The 2022 event will mark the seventh consecutive time in which the championships will feature stroke (May 20-23) and match play (May 24-25). The tournament will start with three rounds of stroke play, followed by a final round of stroke play where the field is determined by the top 15 teams and nine individuals not on an advancing team, advancing from the third round.

During the final round of stroke play on Monday, the top eight teams will advance to match play and a 72-hole individual medalist will also be crowned. Ever since it was instituted in 2015, Vandy is seeking its first trip to the final round of stroke play as a team, along with the match-play playoff. The program’s best NCAA team finish came in 2004 when it was a stroke play only format.

“The ladies keep saying, ‘we’re not done yet,’ and I love that attitude,” said Allen. “We feel like we have nothing to lose this week. My message will be the same as it is every week – play hard with great attitudes and make every shot count.”

GOLF Channel will provide live coverage of the NCAA Championships from May 23-25, beginning with the final round of stroke play at 4 p.m. CT Monday when the individual medalist is determined and eight teams advance to match play.

“We know there’s a lot of golf this week and a lot of really great teams here,” noted Allen. “We just want to focus on us and making sure we get a good game plan to execute to the best of our ability.”

Last season, the Dores were represented by NCAA individual qualifiers, junior Celina Sattelkau and fifth-year senior Louise Yu. Sattelkau advanced to the final round of stroke play, finishing 23rd after three rounds. After the final round, the German native finished in a tie for 53rd to conclude a successful sophomore campaign.

Vandy is scheduled to tee off at 9:25 a.m. CT Friday following a practice round at Grayhawk on the previous day. The Dores will try to conquer the Raptor Course’s par-72 layout that measures up to 6,384 yards for the championships. For the first two rounds, the Dores are paired with SEC foe Mississippi State and Purdue, who punched its ticket to Scottsdale after winning a sudden-death playoff against Big Ten foe Northwestern at the NCAA Stanford Regional last week.

“I know we are playing with more confidence than we have all season,” said Allen. “We are playing our best golf of the season and that’s what you want heading into the NCAA Championships. Now, let’s go enjoy the week and see what happens.”

Championship Format

The NCAA Championships will start with three rounds of stroke play (Friday-Sunday) with 18 holes per day (54 holes total). After Sunday’s third round, the top 15 teams and nine individuals not on an advancing team are determined. Those teams and individuals will play a final round (18 holes) of stroke play on Monday to determine the top eight teams that will advance to match play. A 72-hole individual medalist will also be crowned.

The top eight teams will advance match play with quarterfinals and semifinals Tuesday and the championship match Wednesday to determine the NCAA champions.

How to Watch – GOLF Channel

GOLF Channel will provide live coverage of the NCAA Championships beginning Monday when the individual national champion is crowned. GOLF Channel’s coverage also will include all three rounds of the team match play tournament next Tuesday and Wednesday.

See below for the broadcast schedule throughout the NCAA Championships (all times CT). Encore presentations will also air later in the night.

  • Monday, May 23: 4-8 p.m. – Individual national championship (Final round of stroke play)
  • Tuesday, May 24: 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – Team match play quarterfinals
  • Tuesday, May 24: 4-8 p.m. – Team match play semifinals
  • Wednesday, May 25: 4-8 p.m. – Team match play national championship

Back in the Winner’s Circle

In its 22nd NCAA Regional appearance, Vanderbilt punched its ticket to its 11th NCAA Championships appearance after securing its first NCAA Regional title since 2019 with a 16-under performance in front of Commodore Nation at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tennessee. The regional title is also the fourth in program history for the Dores.

Their 54-hole score of 848 is the ninth-lowest score in program history, while their final round of 279 (-9) is tied for 17th overall, and was the lowest round of any team throughout the three-day regional event. The Dores had an eight-stroke advantage over second-place Alabama, who’s ranked in the top 10 in the latest Golfweek rankings. ACC champion and No. 4, Wake Forest, and No. 19 Texas A&M, round out the four teams advancing to the NCAA Championships at Grayhawk.

Individually, all five Dores finished in the top-25 with three in the top 10. Senior Auston Kim led the way for Vandy, tied for fourth at 5-under. Junior duo Jayna Choi and Tess Davenport notched their first top-10 finishes as Commodores, tied for seventh and ninth, respectively. Sattelkau finished with an even-par to finish in the top-15, while Yu had a performance to remember on the final day of competition, posting a bogey-free round to finish 3-under on the day.

The Winning Lineup

The Dores will stick with the same lineup that was used in their regional winning performance last week at Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin. Kim, Yu and a trio of juniors – Sattelkau, Davenport and Choi – feature this week’s lineup going into the NCAA Championships in Scottsdale.

Kim, an ANNIKA Award candidate and two-time Augusta National Women’s Amateur participant stays in the top spot after she finished her home career with a 5-under performance, tied for fourth. She also still leads the team’s scoring average for the season at 72.19.

Yu, a fifth-year senior who recently earned her graduate degree in marketing, stays steady at No. 2 after finishing her home career with a bogey-free 3-under final round, matching a season-low round of 69 for the third time on the season.

2021 NCAA Championship individual qualifier and SEC Golfer of the Week (March 10), Sattelkau, stays at No. 3, after a steady performance at the NCAA Franklin Regional last week.

Rounding out the last two spots of the starting five lineup are Davenport and Choi, who both earned their first career top-10 finishes tied for ninth and seventh, respectively, at the NCAA Franklin Regional. Davenport fired a career-low 69 during the second round, while Choi a career-low 4-under.

Scouting the NCAA Field

The Dores will be part of a competitive 24-team field to conclude the postseason as 21 out of 24 teams in the field are ranked inside Golfweek’s top 25. All of the program’s in Golfweek’s top 10 are represented at Grayhawk this week, including No. 1 seed and top-ranked Stanford.

All Power 5 conference champions are represented in this week’s field – No. 2 seed Oregon (Pac-12), No. 4 seed Wake Forest (ACC), Texas (Big 12), LSU (SEC) and Michigan (Big Ten). With eight teams, the SEC represents a third of the field, including Vandy who’s the only team from the conference to win an NCAA Regional title this season. South Carolina is the conference’s highest seed at No. 3. Host Arizona State enters the week as the No. 7 seed.

The individual field includes 24 of the top 25 collegiate golfers according to Golfweek with Chiara Tamburlini of Ole Miss as the only one competing as an individual.

Behind the Scenes at Grayhawk

The 2022 NCAA Championships mark the second consecutive year for the event to be contested at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale. Arizona State will play host to the NCAA combined golf championships, which has been held at Grayhawk since 2021 and will continue through 2023.

The Tom Fazio-designed Raptor course offers thrilling challenges that command players’ respect through a high-stakes game of risk and reward. Stretching over 6,384 yards for the championships, the par-72 course unfolds over the gentle hills and across shaded natural arroyos found in this picturesque corner of the Sonoran Desert.

Since Raptor’s debut in 1995, it has hosted several professional and top amateur golf tournaments including the PGA TOUR’s Open (2007-09), Pro-Ams for the WM Phoenix Open (1996-2012), Tommy Bahama Challenge (2004-05), AJGA Thunderbird International Junior (2000-19) and PGA Jr. League Championship through 2022.

NCAA History Lesson – Vanderbilt at NCAA Championships

Vandy will be making its 11th NCAA Championships appearance this week, with its last being in 2019 at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas. They also played in the 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2007, 2004, 2003 and 2002 NCAA Championships.

Since it was instituted in 2015, the Dores are seeking to make their first trip to the match-play playoff. Their best NCAA finish as a team and individually came at the 2004 NCAA Championships in Auburn, Alabama. Vandy finished fifth as a team, while Sarah Jacobs tied for sixth with a score of 287.

The Dores also previously hosted the 2012 NCAA Championships at the Vanderbilt Legends Club where they finished 11th overall.

Kim to the Majors

Kim booked her ticket to her third U.S. Women’s Open after winning individual medalist honors at a qualifying event in Pittsburgh on May 4. The senior shot a 4-under-par 138 to earn the event’s low score. This year’s major event will be held at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina.

After her freshman season, Kim fired a 1-under-par 70 in the second round of the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open, while she earned exemption into the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open where Kim shot a 149 over two rounds at the Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas.

Senior Farewell

The NCAA Championships will be a prime opportunity for Kim and Yu to make a lasting memory representing the Black and Gold. With only four NCAA Regional team titles in program history, Kim and Yu helped contributed to two of those wins – 2019 in Auburn and last week on Vandy’s home course in Franklin.

With accomplished careers on and off the course, the senior duo have been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll every season since competing as a Dore, while Kim is also a three-time All-American (Third Team – 2019 and Honorable Mention – 2019, 2020) and two-time SEC honoree (First team – 2019 and Second Team – 2020).

Afterwards, Kim is set to start her professional career, competing in the U.S. Women’s Open from June 2-5, while Yu has accepted a position as a Transformation Delivery Advisory Associate with KPMG.

Postseason Reset

The Dores had an up-and-down season – mostly due to nagging injuries throughout the starting lineup – having finished as high as second and as low as 13th (twice). But Vandy started its postseason with an SEC Championships showing that saw them finish seventh in stroke play and as quarterfinalists in match play, falling to eventual SEC champions, LSU.

Vandy joined Auburn and South Carolina as the only three teams to advance to the match-play portion of the event every season since the format was instituted in 2018.

Three Dores earned top-30 individual finishes. Leading the way was Kim, who had her best SEC Championships finish in a tie for sixth-place. Sattelkau tied for 15th and Yu had her third straight top 30 finish in a tie for 26th.