ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Vanderbilt led wire-to-wire during the stroke play portion of the SEC Championships and will be the No. 1 seed going into Saturday’s quarterfinals at the Seaside Course on St. Simons Island, Georgia.
The Commodores, who have now won five of their last stroke play events, will face Mississippi State at 6:30 a.m. CT Saturday in a match play contest. Should they beat the Bulldogs they would face LSU or Missouri in the semifinals Saturday afternoon.
“We’re fortunate in the fact that we’ve got guys that have done this before. We didn’t come here just to take this step. This was the first step, but we know what it takes and it you got to turn up mentally. You have to focus on what you want and you have to be willing to go get it,” Vandy head coach Scott Limbaugh said. “We like our guys and we also expect to be pushed to the extreme right out of the gate in the morning. We respect our opponent and we’re excited about the opportunity.”
Vandy, the defending SEC champions, finished with a three-day total of 824 and was 16-under-par after Friday’s final round. Texas A&M made a late run, but finished three strokes back of the Dores while Florida was four strokes back. Vanderbilt was 3-under-par for its final round.
Gordon Sargent nearly claimed the individual championship at 5-under-par. The freshman was up a shot after 15, but a bogey on 16 coupled with John Dubois’ birdie on 16 gave the Florida junior the title by one stroke after the two played even on the last two holes.
Cole Sherwood, who tied for third overall, had the best day of any Commodore thanks to a 67. He carded an eagle on the fifth and made two birdies on his final five holes.
“(Sargent’s) awfully impressive. I’m extremely proud of him,” Limbaugh said. “Then for Cole to hang in there and show why he’s one of the best players in the country, to come out in the final round with the winds up and to do that is really pretty cool.
“We don’t take this for granted. Fifty four holes on top in this league, this kind of pressure, I am proud of our kids. I thought the way William Moll responded these last couple rounds really gives us a lot of hope when you see guys like him stepping up under that kind of pressure I’m excited for that.”
Saturday’s quarterfinals and semifinals will be streamed by SECNetwork+ beginning at 3 p.m. CT. Sunday’s championship match, scheduled for 6:30 a.m. CT, will be televised live by the SEC Network.
Live scoring for Saturday’s contest can be found HERE.