FORT WORTH, Texas — Thanks to an impressive 18 holes by William Moll, Vanderbilt saved its best golf for last Tuesday and finished ninth at the 15-team Colonial Collegiate Invite.
Vandy (+23, 863) had a tough outing Monday over 36 holes but quickly turned its fortunes around Tuesday thanks, in part, to Moll’s hot start. The junior and Texas native birdied three of his first four holes and would go on to shoot a 2-under-par 68.
“It was a much better day today. This type of day can help shape the identity of a team and give us something to build on,” Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh said. “I’m proud of William as he was able to play a big round for us when we really needed one.”
“I was encouraged to see Reid and Harrison battle like they did today. It felt like we had some momentum for the first time which was fun,” Limbaugh said. “We have to continue to learn how to handle adversity better and get mentally stronger when things don’t go the way we hoped they would go.”
Vanderbilt climbed from an 11th-place tie to wind up ninth on the par-70, 7,204-yard Colonial Country Club course and was 12 strokes better than its second round and 14 strokes better than its first 18.
Stanford (-2, 1000) took home the team title thanks to a 11-under-par round Tuesday edging Oklahoma by one stroke. Michael Brennan of Wake Forest was crowned individual champion after finishing 12-under-par.
“We certainly aren’t satisfied with where we are and we understand we all have to get better, coaches and players. I think there were probably assumptions made that maybe the path would be easy this year, but that’s why choosing what you focus on is so important,” Limbaugh said. “Our focus needs to be solely on improving and holding ourselves to higher standards. Today was hopefully a building block and we have a lot of work to do in order to be the team we think we can be.
“I’m excited to see us embrace getting better and doing the little things a lot better. It’s really up to us. We get to decide the truth about this team.”
The Commodores will now have a few short days of rest before heading to Birmingham, Alabama, for the SEC Match Play Championship (formerly the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate Golf Tournament) starting at 7:30 a.m. Sunday at the Shoal Creek Cub. All 14 SEC teams are scheduled compete in the single-elimination event starting with 36 holes Sunday followed by 18 holes Monday and 18 holes Tuesday.
After elimination from the official match play event, all losing teams will go into a separate pool play competition.