Vandy Takes Third at Williams Cup

Sargent, Davenport card top-10 finishes

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Vanderbilt closed out its fall season with a final 18 at the Williams Cup on Tuesday and finished third overall at the 10-team event.

The Commodores carded a 291 on Tuesday to finish 1-under-par after three rounds. Host North Carolina was 17-under-par to take the team title and Georgia’s Trent Phillips shot a three-day total of 201 (-15) to win the tournament and earn an exemption in the Korn Ferry Tour’s Rex Hospital Open in June.

“I am encouraged by some things we learned about our team this week,” Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh said. “There was a lot more wind today and this is a championship golf course so it was a good test. We have to continue to understand when things are hard, it makes you better.”

Harrison Ott had Vandy’s best score Tuesday with a 2-under-par 70. He finished tied for 18th overall.

Freshman Gordon Sargent battled to a 2-over-par finish Tuesday and recorded his second top-10 finish of his young career. His 1-under-par score after three rounds put him in a tie for eighth.

Reid Davenport (-1) also tied for eighth thanks to a birdie on his final hole Tuesday. Cole Sherwood (+3) tied for 18th while Michael Shears (+4) tied for 23rd.

William Moll (+3), competing at the event as an individual, shot a 1-under-par 71 on Tuesday and tied for 18th overall.

“Obviously, real proud of Harrison and how he responded to not playing to his standards (Monday). I knew he would play well and I think that was big for him and our team. He does a really good job being a leader on this team,” Limbaugh said. “Cole played well and was just a couple of putts going in from playing a really good round. I’m very excited about how we finished the round because that is how you build trust within a team. Gordon made birdie on his last three holes and Michael and Reid both finished strong.

“Those decisions to not give in when things aren’t going great, but instead  to fight through to the finish are things that really excite me. That means we are competing closer to our standards. Also, we were excited to see William play well today because we know he is an important piece for us to be the team we want to be.”

Vanderbilt will now look ahead to the start of the spring schedule Feb. 21-23 at The Prestige in La Quinta, California. Vandy took part in four tournaments during the fall slate (with one event being canceled) and finished among the top five in two of those.

The Commodores also took second in the SEC Match Play event in October.

“Becoming a team takes a lot more than having talent and calling yourself a team. It takes a group of people that want to buy-in to the standards of something that is bigger than just themselves,” Limbaugh said. “The fall season is always a time to learn about where we are, establish our standards and see what type of leadership we have. We played a different lineup in each event this fall and we will continue to work to identify the guys that want to buy in and do the right things so we can be more consistent and build trust with each other.

“I think it’s an important offseason for this team and the choices we make individually and as a group will have a big impact on where we can go this spring. We certainly aren’t satisfied with where we are, but I am excited about what we can become. I believe in this group and I know we have what it takes to be a great team. However, like anything else, it comes down to the choices we make and really that’s each players choice. Ultimately, we will decide what we do.”