Strong Start at SEC

Commodores in sixth after 18

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Vanderbilt got off to a solid start Wednesday at the SEC Championships at the Sea Island Golf Club on the coast of Georgia.

Three Commodores finished under-par and Vandy goes in to Thursday’s second round in sixth place after a 276 (-4) team score. The top eight teams after Friday’s third round advance to match play starting Saturday.

Cole Sherwood led Vanderbilt for much of the day Wednesday as the junior was 4-under-par through 13 holes. A pair of bogeys down the stretch gave him a 68 and put him tied for 11th overall.

Gordon Sargent also carded a 68, recovering from an opening-hole bogey by carding three birdies on the day. William Moll is tied for 23rd after an opening-round 69.

Reid Davenport is tied for 39th after a first-round 71 and Matthew Riedel shot a 73 and is tied for 53rd.

“It’s always exciting to get championship season started. I’m proud of how we finished the round today, especially William and Reid, as they both did a great job fighting til the end,” Vandy head coach Scott Limbaugh said. “Gordon also made a couple of really good saves on Nos. 16 and 18 which felt big for him and our team.

“Cole was solid all day and it’s exciting for us when he plays like he did today. As a team, we did a few things that were a little uncharacteristic and things we need to clean up going forward. That will be our focus along with having some fun and playing with passion. The course is firm and in great shape so it requires some discipline and focus.”

Texas A&M and Alabama got off to scorching starts Wednesday and the Aggies have a one-stroke lead after 18 holes. Auburn (-9) resides in third.

Thomas Ponder, who had a hole-in-one on No. 17, is tied with Tennessee’s Caleb Surratt for the overall lead.

Vanderbilt is scheduled to tee off at 7:50 a.m. CT Thursday and will be paired with Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Live scoring for the event can be found HERE.

“This time of year is about seizing opportunity, putting your blinders on and playing with purpose. Thursday is an important day and we need to embrace being a little better in some areas than we were today,” Limbaugh said. “I believe in this group and I’m excited to get more of our fans in town because our guys enjoy having some energy out there.”