FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Blessings Golf Club was the big winner on Friday in the first round of play at the NCAA Championships, with the par-72, 7,550-yard behemoth limiting the nation’s top 30 teams to over-par rounds. The fourth-ranked Commodores were no exception, as they finished their first round with a 17-over par 307, which is good for a tie for 17th on the team leaderboard. Junior John Augenstein was the Vanderbilt leader on Friday, posting a 3-over par 75, which places him in a tie for 36th on the individual leaderboard.
The Commodores’ other counting scores on Friday included a pair of 5-over par 77’s from senior Patrick Martin and sophomore Harrison Ott, and a 6-over 78 from freshman Reid Davenport.
"I thought we came out pretty solid," said Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh. "The back nine, certainly that stretch from 10 to 14, is tough. I thought we got off to a good start. John, Patrick and Harrison had their rounds under control and I was proud on how we came out of the gate. I'm not upset, because this is a long golf tournament, but I thought we got way too emotionally involved in the round. We had some guys get way too emotional, and this course is trying to make you do that. We lost a little of our mental toughness and gave in to that, lost our way, and then hit some bad golf shots coming in."
Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh
Oklahoma State is the team leader heading into the second round after posting a 2-over-par 290. Stanford is one shot behind the Cowboys and Auburn and California are two shots back.
Individually, California’s Collin Morikawa is the leader after shooting a 5-under-par 67. He holds a two-shot lead over Chun An You of Arizona State and Austin Eckroat of Oklahoma State.
"I really like this team, I think tomorrow is a big opportunity for us to show the kind of character we're made of. We're definitely going to have to be better tomorrow than we were today. But, there were some really good things we did today. I was proud of Reid how hung in there for us today. Gordo hasn't had a round like that all year, and for Reid to value his golf ball coming in, was good for us. Tomorrow will be about us and being a little bit better emotionally and showing some mental toughness. We're looking forward to the opportunity."
The Commodores tee off on Saturday morning at 7:12 a.m. Central time off of number 10.
T17. Vanderbilt – 307
T36. John Augenstein – 75
T69. Patrick Martin – 77
T69. Harrison Ott – 77
T87. Reid Davenport – 78
T140. Will Gordon – 82