HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – On a brisk, seaside day when birdies were hard to come by, Vanderbilt junior Louise Yu and sophomore Auston Kim landed on the leaderboard after the opening round of the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate on Friday.
Yu, from Duluth, Georgia, and Kim, a product of St. Augustine, Florida, carded 1-over-par 72s on the Pete Dye Course at Long Cove Club. The duo will tee off Saturday in a tie for 10th place in the medalist competition, just three strokes off the lead set by Wake Forest’s Rachel Kuehn.
The challenging layout was made even more difficult during the opening round by cool temperatures and winds approaching gale force on the inland shores of Hilton Head Island.
As a team, Vanderbilt is mid-pack, tied for 10th place with an 18-over-par 302. Wake Forest owns a lead in the team standings, holding a seven-stroke advantage after firing a 3-over 287.
Overall, Vanderbilt head coach Greg Allen was optimistic after his team’s performance. In 2019, the Commodores were 11th after the opening round, only to rally to an eventual tie for fifth.
“Long Cove is a great test on a calm day,” Allen said. “Throw in a constant 25 mile-per-hour wind with gusts up to 30 and it really gets fun. I’m proud of (Yu) and (Kim), who went around the course today and put together solid rounds. I think all of our girls had great attitudes and gave effort.
“Unfortunately, Abbey (Carlson), Mo (Morgan Baxendale) and Tess (Davenport) struggled. It was just Tess’ second time in the lineup and first time on the road, but I absolutely loved her attitude. It was a great learning opportunity and I’m really excited about her growth.”
The Commodores struggled early, carding a triple bogey and two double bogeys through the opening six holes. The Vanderbilt contingent combined to collect just six birdies, with three coming on the 530-yard, par-5 No. 15.
Yu and Kim were consistent through the day. Yu’s two birdies, coming on Nos. 2 and 18, were sandwiched between 12 pars and three bogeys.
Kim dropped a shot on the par-5 third hole, then made her way back to even-par with a birdie at the par-5 15th. She ended over-par on the round after a bogey on the difficult par-4 16th.
Carlson, a senior from Lake Mary, Florida, never got rolling on the Dye design, opening with a double on the first hole, then making the turn at 5-over-par. Her lone birdie in a round of 78 came at the 15th hole.
Davenport, a freshman from Buford, Georgia, finished with an 80 without making a birdie.
Like Carlson, Baxendale didn’t make her first birdie until the 15th hole. The junior from Orlando, Florida, ended the day with an 81.
The Commodores will be paired with Furman and tournament host South Carolina in the second round Saturday. They will tee off No. 10 starting at 9:10 a.m. CT.
Darius Rucker Intercollegiate
Pete Dye Course, Long Cove Club
Day 1 Results
10. Vanderbilt +18 (302)
T-10. Auston Kim +1 (72)
T-10. Louise Yu +1 (72)
T-58. Abbey Carlson +7 (78)
T-72. Tess Davenport +9 (80)
T-82. Morgan Baxendale +10 ( 81)