NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Vanderbilt men’s golf team, ranked inside the top three in three different preseason polls, makes its 2021 debut Friday at the Gators Invitational hosted by Florida in Gainesville, Florida.
The Commodores are coming off a three-tournament fall in which they won the Vanderbilt Legends Collegiate and placed second at the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate after coming up short in a playoff.
“It’s certainly exciting to have the chance to begin competing again in the spring portion of our season,” Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh said. “We are so grateful to everyone that continues to support us being able to compete during a pandemic. I know our student-athletes cannot wait to get started.”
— Vanderbilt Men’s Golf (@VandyMGolf) February 5, 2021
Vandy, ranked No. 1 by Golfstat, No. 2 by Golfweek and No. 3 by the Golf Coaches Association of America, will embark on a new era without former standout John Augenstein who turned to professional golf in November. This weekend’s lineup will include William Moll, Reid Davenport, Matthew Riedel, Harrison Ott and Michael Shears.
Cole Sherwood will be competing as an individual.
“This will be our fourth different lineup in as many events,” Limbaugh said. “We love to see guys get the opportunity to show us if they are ready to contribute. We have been to the Gator Invitational several times and we love the course. Also, a field with eleven SEC teams as well as several other schools is challenging and exciting.”
— Vanderbilt Men’s Golf (@VandyMGolf) February 9, 2021
A three-day, 54-hole event, the Gators Invitational will be played at the Mark Bostick Golf Course (par 70, 6,701 yards). Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Central Florida, Coastal Carolina, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Jacksonville, Liberty, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Florida, Penn State, South Carolina, South Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Washington and host Florida will join the Commodores on the course.
Vandy is scheduled to tee off at 7 a.m. CT Friday in a shotgun start due to the threat of inclement weather. Saturday’s start for the Dores is still to-be-determined.
“This team has a new opportunity to see what we can become as a group and see who will step up, who will lead and if the team will continue take ownership of our actions,” Limbaugh said. “We have some guys that are very capable of stepping up and playing with more consistency. It is our responsibility as coaches to help our team grow and not worry about the things we can’t control.
“Instead we need to focus on the things we can control like attitude, effort, patience and toughness. It is our job to help them redirect their minds to see the things we want to see.”