Smoking Start on St. Simons

Vandy leads field after 18 holes at SEC Championships

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Vanderbilt got off to a blazing start Wednesday in the opening round of the SEC Championships on St. Simons Island, Georgia.

The Commodores totaled a 273 to finish at 7-under-par and a three strokes ahead of Georgia going into Tuesday’s second 18. Vandy carded 15 birdies in Wednesday’s first round.

“We are really pleased with how the guys went out and competed today,” Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh said. “We knew it was an important day and we wanted to be ready to go and the guys embraced that. The wind really picked up as the day went on and it was a good test out there.”

Reid Davenport and Gordon Sargent led the charge Wednesday and both are tied with four others for the individual lead at 3-under-par. Davenport led the field after his first nine holes while Sargent played bogey-free until a misstep on 18.

Ryan Hall of South Carolina shot a 66 and sits along in first place after Round 1.

Cole Sherwood finished one stroke off the pace with a 68 – the sophomore birdied three of his first seven holes and is tied for eighth overall. Harrison Ott (+1) is tied for 20th and William Moll (+4) is tied for 48th.

“Reid got off to a great start which I think was big for him and the team. He’s doing a great job preparing and trusting himself and his plan,” Limbaugh said. “Gordon looked really good in his first postseason round and continues to show a lot of maturity with his game and his emotions which is big for him and us. I thought Cole did a great job hanging in there today and fighting not to give momentum away. He’s right where he needs to be and doing a lot of great things.

“Harry was in control all day and I thought his round was huge for our team. William was a lot better on the back nine, got some momentum, and we all believe in him and look forward to him stepping up.”

Vanderbilt will be paired with Georgia and LSU on Thursday and is scheduled to tee off at 8:40 a.m. CT. Live scoring for Thursday’s second round can be found HERE.

“Thursday is a new day and another opportunity for us to grow,” Limbaugh said. “Today was a good start and we know we can be better if we have high standards for ourselves and have fun. This time of year is about committing to your shots, executing your plan and not assuming someone else will do the job you can to do yourself.”