FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Commodores men’s golf team has advanced to the match play portion of the NCAA Championships for the fourth time in five years after posting a 3-under-par 285 on Monday in the final round of stroke play and finishing the tournament with a four-round 1,172 (307-288-287-285), which places Vanderbilt second overall in the team standings.
The top eight teams from the stroke-play portion of the event move on to match play. The Commodores will take on No. 7 seed Texas A&M Tuesday morning, with tee times beginning at 7 a.m. Central time. Vanderbilt is only one of three schools to make match play in four of the last five seasons, joining Texas and Oklahoma.
Vanderbilt, which struggled on the opening day of the tournament, rebounded nicely and comfortably made the match play cut by 29 shots on Monday. The Commodores posted the second-lowest team round of the day and were led by senior Will Gordon, who shot a final-round 67, the low round of the day that included a fourth-round best seven birdies. Senior Patrick Martin also was a major contributor in the final round, posting a 2-under-par 70 and carding four birdies. Other counters for the Commodores Monday were a pair of 2-over-par 74’s from junior John Augenstein and sophomore Harrison Ott. Freshman Reid Davenport carded a 6-over-par 78 in his final round.
For the four-round stroke-play tournament, Gordon, Martin and Augenstein each finished in a tie for 19th on the individual leaderboard with a total of 293. Ott finished with a 297 total and tied for 30th, while Davenport finished in a tie for 61st with a 305 total.
“After what happened on this day last year, we’ve had a little chip on our shoulder,” said Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh. “We didn’t handle this day very well last year. This senior group we have, they weren’t going to let that happen again. It was really difficult out there today, and for Will Gordon and Patrick Martin to finish at 7-under par in their final stroke play round for Vanderbilt, I couldn’t sum up who they are and their character any better.
“All that we talked about was doing this together. And today, even though Reid’s round doesn’t look so great compared to the other rounds, the way that freshman battled are building blocks for the rest of this week and the rest of his career. I’m just so proud of John. He just continues to handle those moments under control and he’s just steady and knows what he’s doing. And also Harrison. I was with him all day today and was really proud of how he played. That was his first national championship round. And that’s tough. And it’s different. But it’s good for us.”
Ironically, both Martin and Gordon ended with the same amount of rounds and strokes in their four year career. Each had 138 rounds and 9,797 career strokes and their career stroke average of 70.99 ties for second all-time in Vanderbilt history.
"Will was really hoping that Patrick would make that six-footer for par on 18, although he almost made the birdie putt. For him to make that six-footer for par is only fitting for those guys to end up that way."
Ott also had the only bogey-free round (71 on Saturday) of the men’s tournament and one of only two between the men’s and women’s tournaments (Maria Fassi, 3rd round). To put it in perspective, there were 927 total rounds between the men and the women in the last two weeks.
Other advancing teams include No. 1 Oklahoma State, No. 3 Wake Forest, No. 4 Texas, No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Texas A&M, and No. 8 SMU, who won in a playoff against Clemson Monday afternoon.
Matchups for Tuesday morning include:
1. Patrick Martin vs. Walker Lee (Texas A&M), 7:00 a.m.
2. John Augenstein vs. Brandon Smith (Texas A&M), 7:10 a.m.
3. Reid Davenport vs. Sam Bennett (Texas A&M), 7:20 a.m.
4. Harrison Ott vs. Chandler Phillips (Texas A&M), 7:30 a.m.
5. Will Gordon vs. Dan Erickson (Texas A&M), 7:40 a.m.
"I think the strategy is to get your point. Do your job and get your point. I think we've had enough of these deals that we understand that you have to bring your best. That's what's going to be required of you. It doesn't matter who you're playing. You have to go get your point. That needs to be your focus. Whatever it takes to do that, that's what you have to do. I like this golf course for us. I like this team. That does not mean we are entitled to do anything. You have to go earn the right to tee it up. We had to earn the right to play today, and we had to earn the right today to play tomorrow. We have to earn the right tomorrow to take another step. I'm really excited about it."
2. Vanderbilt – 307-288-287-285=1167
T19. Will Gordon – 82-73-71-67=293
T19. John Augenstein – 75-72-72-74=293
T19. Patrick Martin – 77-72-74-70=293
T30. Harrison Ott – 77-71-75-74=297
T61. Reid Davenport – 78-79-70-78=305