Dores Stand Ninth at SEC Championship

Ding leads way with 1-under start

BELLEAIR, Fla. – Vanderbilt women’s golf sits in a tie for ninth following an 8-over 288 in the first round of the SEC Women’s Golf Championship on Friday afternoon at Pelican Golf Club. Senior Virginie Ding paced the Commodores with a 1-under 69 to open the tournament.

Ding continued her run of strong play, carding four birdies in her third-straight round of under-par golf. Behind Ding, freshman Sara Im and graduate Celina Sattelkau produced 2-over rounds of 72 to open the weekend. Im, who stepped into the lineup in place of an injured Tillie Claggett, registered two birdies in her first action since the spring opener in early February.

“First, let me say how proud I am of Sara for being ready to step in when Tillie couldn’t go today,” head coach Greg Allen said. “She has worked so hard this year after struggling this spring and she played really solid today.”

Lynn Lim and Ava Merrill each shot 5-over 75 to round out the Commodores’ opening trip around Pelican Golf Club.

Vanderbilt started hot, reaching as low as 4-under in early action. The Dores entered the final three holes of the day at 1-over as a team before the challenging 18th hole clawed back six strokes from the squad.

“After playing some really good golf most of the day,” Allen said, “it’s obviously a bit disappointing to finish the way we did but no one is discouraged. We talked about what went wrong and will be ready to go tomorrow.”

The Dores sit alongside Florida in ninth, two-strokes back of Ole Miss and Kentucky in a tie for seventh. Second-ranked South Carolina leads the field with a 5-under 275 to open the tournament. The top eight teams following the conclusion of Sunday’s third round will advance to match play at the SEC Championship.

Vanderbilt will tee off the second round of action on Saturday beginning at 9:10 a.m. ET. The Dores will start on the back nine and are paired with Florida and Alabama.

Live scoring for the SEC Women’s Golf Championship is available on GolfStat.