KINGSTON SPRINGS, Tenn. — A blazing start and a solid finish Tuesday kept Vanderbilt near the top of the leaderboard going into the final day of the Kingston Springs Regional at The Golf Club of Tennessee.
Vandy will begin its final round two strokes back of leader San Diego State (-11) who blitzed the course with an 8-under-par round to climb into first. Arkansas, 4-under-par Tuesday, is in third at 5-under-par for the tournament.
The top five teams after Wednesday’s final 18 holes advance to the NCAA Championships in Arizona.
“Wednesday is an important day and we need to embrace that,” Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh said. “We have to keep trusting each other and stick to our game plans. It’s our next opportunity to take one step closer to being the team we know we can be. I’m excited to see our fans out here Wednesday helping our boys finish strong.”
Freshman Cole Sherwood led the Commodores on Tuesday with an impressive 4-under-par. He rose the leaderboard into the top 20 and is tied for 14th overall.
A native of Austin, Texas, Sherwood flipped the script from a 3-over-par round Monday.
“I think today the pins were a little easier,” he said. “(Vanderbilt assistant coach Gator Todd) and I had lot more numbers so we were able to attack a few more pins and the biggest difference is we had a few putts fall unlike (Monday) when I had a lot of good putts that were just burning the edges.
“But I felt great going in at 33 and just having that momentum on the back was huge today.”
Reid Davenport, the overall individual leader after the first day, bogeyed 18 to finish his second round 1-over-par. But the junior is still 5-under-par after 18 holes and is tied with Youssef Guezzale of San Diego State for the overall individual lead.
After going 2-under-par Monday, William Moll played an even-par round and is tied for eighth overall. The sophomore had four birdies but also carded two bogeys and had a double bogey on 16.
Sophomore Matthew Riedel found three birdies during his second round and was 1-under-par. His 1-over-par score for the tournament has him tied for 28th.
Michael Shears, a junior, is 3-over-par for the Regional and is tied for 43rd.
“I’m pleased with how we showed up today and competed. We got off to a really good start on the front nine and just didn’t quite finish to our standards,” Limbaugh said. “Cole did a great job lifting our team up with his play. Everyone was right there again today and I think that is so important this time of year, just having all five guys hanging in there.
“Matthew played well today and it was good to see him grab some momentum. Reid and William were solid today as well and did a good job staying in their rounds.”
— Vanderbilt Men’s Golf (@VandyMGolf) May 18, 2021
Vanderbilt started the second day – on a cool and misty morning – tied for third with Houston, two strokes behind both Kent State and North Carolina State for the lead and two strokes ahead of San Diego State for fifth. But the Dores quickly surged into the lead with nine birdies on the front nine, three courtesy of Sherwood.
Vandy gave a few shots back with a double bogey on 16 and three separate bogeys on 18 to end the round. It is still in prime position to keeps its season alive with 18 holes to play.
“You got to keep your head down,” Sherwood said about his team’s mindset going into Wednesday. “We’re trying to protect our territory. This is our home golf course and we want to make a statement. Have to push all the distractions to the side and play the best we can.”
The Commodores are scheduled to tee off at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday along with San Diego State and Arkansas.
North Carolina State (-3) sits alone in fourth place going into Wednesday. Charlotte and Clemson, the No. 3 overall national seed, are tied at 3-under-par and currently claim for the final two spots for advancing.
Kent State is 1-under-par and in seventh.