AUBURN, Ala. — Led by a 4-under-par 68 from Gordon Sargent on Wednesday, the Vanderbilt men’s golf team shot a 284 in the final round of the NCAA Auburn Regional and once again advanced to the NCAA Championships.
Vanderbilt has now advanced to nine straight NCAA Championships.
“I’m just so dang proud of this team!” Vandy head coach Scott Limbaugh said. “We played our worst nine holes of the year to start this regional and instead of panicking, they decided to fight the good fight. People on the outside might think this is easy but it’s just not easy.
“There are a lot of good teams who saw their season end today. That’s why it’s so important to be mentally tough enough to block the noise and lock in on what you have to do to play your best.”
Matthew Riedel and Cole Sherwood shot par or better as well in the third round after posting scores of 71 and 72, respectively, as the Commodores had the low round of the day with a 4-under-par team total. Vandy completed the three-day event with an 864 and came up one stroke behind host and regional champ Auburn.
Sargent recorded eight birdies on the day, closing out the round at the par-72, 7,560-yard Auburn University Club with a stretch of five birdies in six holes beginning at No. 3 to post a 2-under-par 214 total (tied for seventh) for the regional. Riedel was 1-under-par on his back nine to break par for the second day in a row and the senior also tied for seventh place.
William Moll tied for 19th with a three-day 220 total after shooting a 73 in the final round, closing out the tournament with a three at the 482-yard ninth to shoot 1-under-par after making the turn. Sherwood, who had four birdies on his first eight holes of the day, tied for 26th while Reid Davenport ended up tied for 28th following a 76 in the final round.
“Cole set the tone for the team again today and It’s exciting for our team when he gets going like that. William really battled all day today and it was great to see him make birdie on the last hole. He plays with a lot of toughness which is infectious. Gordon showed why he is so special with that finish today. It was absolutely awesome!” Limbaugh said. “Matthew was so steady all week and really did a great job which started with his preparation and focus back home. I am very proud of him and the entire team. It takes everyone this time of year and everyone stepped up throughout the week.”
Chattanooga finished third with an 866 total, Ohio State placed fourth (872) and Colorado State finished with an 874 score to round out the top five. The entire field sat through a two-hour weather delay during the afternoon.
Maxwell Moldovan of Ohio State and Christopher Bleier shared individual medalist honors with a three-round score of 209.
Vanderbilt now turns its focus to the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, where it will begin competing for a national championship starting May 26.
“This was the first step of the NCAA Tournament and one we don’t ever take for granted,” Limbaugh said. “We will have a couple of days of prep before heading out west Monday. We know we can be better and I know we will be excited for the opportunity we have next week.
“Thanks again for all our Vandy fans that showed up for our boys this week. It means to us and I know the energy meant a lot to our guys.”