SEA ISLAND, Ga. – The Vanderbilt Commodore men’s golf team finished in second place after three rounds of stroke play of the SEC Championships with a final total of 8-under-par 832 (277-273-282) and will take on Arkansas in a quarterfinals match Saturday morning. Senior Will Gordon was the team’s top finisher in the stroke play part of the tournament with a third-place finish and 6-under-par 204 total (65-70-69).
The top eight teams from stroke play advanced to the match-play quarterfinals on Saturday morning, with the semifinals taking place on Saturday afternoon. The finals will take place Sunday morning and will air live on the SEC Network.
“Man what a tough test of golf out there today,” said Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh. “Days like today make you better and I think we might have played our best round of the year today. I am extremely proud of how we battled today and really thankful we have guys on our team that enjoy the kind of fight and competitive character that you have to have on days like today. We knew it was going to be difficult with the wind and final round hole locations and as a competitor you have to embrace that. We were able to get off to a really solid start which was big and I think it kind of allowed us to just play and not force things.”
On Friday, the Commodores counted a pair of 1-under-par 69’s from Gordon and senior Patrick Martin, an even-par-70 from junior John Augenstein, and a 4-over-par 74 from sophomore Harrison Ott.
“I am so proud of how Patrick responded today and just showed once again why he is so special. John was as solid as ever and played the last 36 holes with only one bogey which is awesome and shows just how much he is growing. Gordo continues to be sensational and really rises to the moments. He played himself right into the mix at the end and gave himself a chance which is all you can ask for in a tournament like this. Harrison took another good step today and looked really comfortable doing it which was big. Reid is getting better every time out and we told him that this will make him better because there will be more days like this going forward.”
For the tournament, two other Commodores finished in the top 20, with Augenstein finishing ninth with a 2-under-par 208 (71-67-70) and Martin in a tie for 16th with a 1-over par 211 (69-73-69).
Auburn captured the stroke-play team title with a 24-under-par 816 (272-269-275), while the Tigers’ Jovan Rebula and Graysen Huff shared the individual title with a final score of 8-under-par 202.
No. 1 seed Auburn will take on No. 8 South Carolina, No. 3 Texas A&M will meet No. 6 Georgia, and No. 4 Kentucky will play No. 5 Tennessee in the other quarterfinal matches on Saturday morning beginning at 6:30 a.m. CT.
“Today was a good step for us and one we certainly don’t take for granted and we have a great opportunity in front of us,” said Limbaugh. We said we were going to do this together and that Is exactly what it will take for us to get where we want to get to. Match play is a different game and we know what it takes. We are playing a very good opponent tomorrow so we will need to be mentally locked in from the start. I like this team and I believe in them. We would certainly appreciate any support we could have out there tomorrow.”
2. Vanderbilt – 277-273-282=832
3. Will Gordon – 65-70-69=204
T9. John Augenstein – 71-67-70=208
T16. Patrick Martin – 69-73-69=211
T26. Harrison Ott – 76-65-74=215
T50. Reid Davenport – 72-71-78=221