Scorching Start at SEC Match Play

Commodores, Gordon Sargent in first place

VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. — Vanderbilt got off to a dominant start Sunday on the opening day of SEC Match Play hosted by Jerry Pate.

In the first two of three rounds of stroke play, Vandy rocketed to the top of the leaderboard through 36 holes with a 32-under-par score. The Commodores are eight shots ahead of Auburn with 18 holes of stroke play to go.

The top two teams after 36 holes of stroke play will square off in a match play championship Tuesday.

“So proud of how all the guys competed out there today,” Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh said. “They were excited to play this week and today I think that enthusiasm showed. When we take the right approach mentally we are a good team.”

Vanderbilt got exceptional days from Reid Davenport, Matthew Riedel and Gordon Sargent. Sargent leads the field of 70 players at 10-under-par thanks to an opening-round 66 and second-round 64.

Playing in his hometown, Sargent had two eagles and 13 birdies Sunday.

Riedel kept pace with Sargent by shooting a 64 and 67, respectively, and is one shot back of the lead. Davenport is 7-under-par for the tournament and tied for fifth.

Cole Sherwood is tied for ninth overall at 6-under-par while William Moll (-1) is tied for 31st. Moll’s opening round included an ace on the par 3 12th.

“All of the guys did some really good things today and I especially thought Matthew and Reid did a great job kind of setting the tone for the group,” Limbaugh said. “I’m proud of how Gordon hung in there all day long with a mature attitude that allowed him to really finish off a strong day.

“Cole probably didn’t have his best stuff today but continues to find a way. It was a total team effort as everyone did a lot of good things.”

Vanderbilt is scheduled to tee off at 9:40 a.m. Monday and will be paired with Auburn and Tennessee. Live scoring for the event can be found HERE.

“We need to be excited to get back out there Monday, compete to our standards and have some fun,” Limbaugh said. “It’s another great opportunity to see who will step up and lift the team up. We appreciated all the fans that came out to support the team today and we certainly hope to see more Monday.”