Making Match Play

Commodores make cut, play Tennessee on Saturday in quarterfinals

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Vanderbilt held steady Friday on the final day of stroke play at the SEC Championships and did enough to advance to Saturday’s match play portion of the tournament.

The Commodores were 4-over-par for the day – 13-over-par after 54 holes – and would up sixth out of 14 teams. They’ll face Tennessee (+10) starting at 7:20 a.m. CT Saturday in the event’s quarterfinals and, should they beat the Volunteers, will go up against LSU (+10) or Arkansas (+12) on Saturday afternoon.

“This week is a marathon of sprints,” Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh said. “There has been three days of sprinting and we’ll line up again Saturday morning playing another outstanding opponent. It’ll take our best. We know that. It’s just about each guy. That’s part of the fabric of our program is everybody just locking in, doing your job as good as you can do it and do it every day. That’s what it will take Saturday.”

Georgia won the stroke play team title with an 3under-par Friday to finish 2-over-par for the tournament. Alabama (+10) came in second while South Carolina (+15) was seventh and Texas A&M (+16) was eighth.

Auburn, Florida, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Missouri missed the cut.

“You learn a lot when things are hard – good and bad,” Limbaugh added. “I thought our guys did a great job hanging in there all day long. We are excited and it was great to see the guys go out and play a great round under pressure.”

For the Commodores, freshman Cole Sherwood had the top score for his team and tied for fifth with a 54-hole total of 210 (even). He shot 2-over-par during Friday’s final round.

Sherwood, who walked his final 18 on Friday with Vanderbilt assistant head coach Gator Todd, found six birdies in 54 holes of stroke play.

“You want to take a freshman like Cole Sherwood – the way that we played and lifted the team up this week is just the kind of stuff that is special,” Limbaugh said. “When you see a true freshman go out there and just look calm, cool and collected down the stretch, that just bodes well for him and he’s got the potential to elevate our team to the level we think we can get.

William Moll and Reid Davenport each wound up tied for 12th at 3-over-par while Matthew Riedel climbed the leaderboard with an even-par round Friday and ended in a tie for 33rd. Harrison Ott (+19) came in 65th.

“I just could not be more pleased with a young team like ours. Reid and Harrison are the only two guys that have ever felt the back-nine pressure of final stroke play day at an SEC championship.

“I just told them that courage is the most contagious thing out there this time out there. I thought we pretty courageous coming down the stretch today so I’m very pleased with them.”

Live scoring results for Saturday’s quarterfinals and semifinals can be found HERE. Vanderbilt is looking for its first SEC Championships title since 2017.