SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — On an intensely hot day in the desert Friday, Vanderbilt endured the heat and the conditions at the Grayhawk Golf Club to finish its opening round of the NCAA Championships in first place.
The Commodores shot a 2-over-par and lead Oregon and Auburn by three strokes. Vandy only found 11 birdies during a round played in triple-digit temperatures, but low scores were hard to come by for all 30 teams.
“Really good first day. Excited about the way the guys played,” Vandy head coach Scott Limbaugh said. “I thought it was important to have everybody in it – and everybody was in it.
“Super-proud of William (Moll) for going out and setting the pace for the day.”
Moll, Gordon Sargent and Cole Sherwood all finished with an even-par 70 to find themselves tied for eight place overall. Harry Hillier of Kansas and Brendan Valdes of Auburn are the tournament’s co-leaders at 2-under-par.
“We had one score worse than bogey out here on this golf course. I think that shows a lot of toughness in my book,” Limbaugh said. “Proud of the way Reid and Cole hung in there to finish and Gordon just looked solid all day.
“Just got to keep our eyes looking forward. Need to be ready to go first thing in the morning, having all five guys in it and having fun. There’s nothing like being on a team and we just have to embrace it and have fun with it.”
Teeing off just before noon local time at the No. 10 tee, Vanderbilt played its first nine holes at 1-under-par as a team. Davenport made the turn at 1-under-par thanks to three birdies while Sargent and Sherwood were both even-par – Sargent parred every one of his first nine holes.
Sargent then birdied his next two holes to get to 2-under-par before having to settle for his 69.
Vanderbilt, paired with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State for a second consecutive day, is scheduled to tee off at 8:10 a.m. CT Saturday for its second round. Live scoring can be found HERE.
Sherwood a Jack Nicklaus Finalist
On Monday, Sherwood was named a finalist for the 2022 NCAA Division I Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award
Sherwood, the First-Team All-SEC selection, had a resurgent spring while carding six top-10s, four top-fives, two wins and 15 rounds under par this season for the SEC champion Commodores. He was twice named the SEC Golfer of the Week, set a Vanderbilt 18-hole record with a 61 at the Cabo Collegiate and his three-day total of 196 at that tournament set a Vanderbilt 54-hole record.
Sherwood’s adjusted scoring average of 70 is good for fifth in Golfstat’s individual rankings.
Ludvig Aberg of Texas Tech, Eugenio Chacarra of Oklahoma State, Chris Gotterup of Oklahoma and Logan McAllister of Oklahoma joined Sherwood on the list. The winner will be announced June 5 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, and presented by award namesake Jack Nicklaus during the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday.
All five finalists are competing this week at the 2022 NCAA Division I Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Nicklaus, a Big Ten and NCAA Champion at Ohio State, helped inspire and create the Jack Nicklaus Award in 1988. The award is now presented to the National Player of the year in NCAA Divisions I, II and III as well as the NAIA and NJCAA.