FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt women’s golf squad struggled to convert opportunities down the stretch Sunday and settled for a second-place finish in the team and individual competitions at the Mason Rudolph Championship.
The Commodores were looking to sweep both divisions for the second straight year but failed to take advantage of late birdie opportunities to finish two strokes behind team champion Houston. The Cougars used a superb 4-under-par team total in the final round to topple the Commodores.
Two Commodore standouts, senior Abbey Carlson and junior Morgan Baxendale, were edged out of medalist honors by UCF’s Tunrada Piddon, who finished with a 54-hole 6-under-par 210. She defeated Carlson by two strokes and Baxendale by three strokes.
The Commodores seemed in control of their destiny entering the closing hole, a par-5 that played under par for much of the tournament. Tied for the overall lead entering the 18th, the Commodores collectively went 2-over-par on the final hole.
The late finish was hard on Vanderbilt head coach Greg Allen, who watched his Commodores miss numerous birdie opportunities during the round.
“Wow, that’s a tough one to swallow,” Allen said. “As poorly as we played, we still had our chances on No. 18. And it really stings because we didn’t get it done. We just made a lot of mistakes this weekend and those must be corrected for us to be the team I think we can be.”
Baxendale, from Windermere, Florida, paced the Commodores Sunday with a 2-under-par 70. She used a bogey-free back nine from jump from 12th to fourth in the individual competition.
Carlson, from Lake Mary, Florida, missed a chance to capture back-to-back medalist titles at the tournament. After making a birdie at the par-5 No. 4, Carlson converted just one more putt over the final 14 holes en route to a 2-over-par 74. Carlson finished the tournament with a 4-under-par 212.
Sophomore Auston Kim (T-28th) and junior Louise Yu (T-32nd) finished with third-round scores of 3-over-par 75 and 2-over-par 74, respectively.
Freshman Tess Davenport finished in a tie for 60th with a final-round 79.
Three other Commodores — freshman Jayna Choi, freshman Celina Sattelkau and junior Virginia Green — competed in the individual competition. Choi finished tied with Yu for 32nd place after shooting a final-round 77. Sattelkau claimed a share of 42nd place with a third-round 75. Green was 74th overall, with a closing round of 74.
Allen looks forward to seeing the Commodores back in action next weekend at the Windy City Invitational.
“I sure love this team and know what we are capable of doing. I can’t wait to get back at it with them next week in Chicago,” he said.
Mason Rudolph Championship
Vanderbilt Legends North Course
Par 72, 6,406 yards
Team Standings (final round results)
1. Houston +2 (287-295-284–866). T-2. Vanderbilt +4 (287-288-293–868). T-2. Clemson +4 (291-287-290–868). 4. Auburn +7 (294-287-290–871). 5. Charlotte +11 (289-286-300–875). 6. Mississippi State +12 (291-294-291–876). 7. North Carolina +14 (288-292-298–878). 8. UCF +15 (288-303-288–879). 9. Louisville +23 (303-286-298–887). UCF +15 (288-303-288–879). 10. Chattanooga +29 (292-304-297–893). T-11. Northwestern +31 (300-300-295–895). T-11. Missouri +31 (301-302-292–895). 13. Mercer +33 (293-302-302–897). 14. Middle Tennessee +50 (302-307-305–914). 15. Florida Atlantic +51 (30-304-305–915).
T-2. Abbey Carlson -4 (68-70-74–212)
4. Morgan Baxendale -3 (72-71-70–213)
T-28. Auston Kim +2 (73-73-75–221)
T-32. Louise Yu +4 (73-75-74–222)
T-60. Tess Davenport +13 (75-75-79–229)
Other Vanderbilt participants
T-32. Jayna Choi +6 (145 74-71-77–222)
T-42. Celina Sattelkau +9 (150 78-72-75-225)
74. Virginia Green + 19(79-82-74–235)