HOOVER, Ala. – The Vanderbilt women’s golf squad advanced to match play at the Southeastern Conference Championships by finishing fourth in the team standings on Friday after 54 holes of stroke play.
The No. 4-seeded Commodores will face No. 5 seed Georgia in match play Saturday morning, with the winner returning later in the day to take on the No. 1 Florida-No. 8 Ole Miss victor.
Pairings for the Vanderbilt-Georgia quarterfinal match follow:
7:50 a.m. – Morgan Baxendale (VU) vs. Gaby Coello (UGA)
8:00 a.m. – Louise Yu (VU) vs. Jenny Bae (UGA)
8:10 a.m. – Auston Kim (VU) vs. Harmie Constantino (UGA)
8:20 a.m. – Abbey Carlson (VU) vs. Rinko Mitsunaga (UGA)
8:30 a.m. – Courtney Zeng (VU) vs. Jo Hua Hung (UGA)
The Commodores advanced to match play by posting a five-over-par 293 total Friday in the third and final round of stroke play. During the performance, Vanderbilt moved ahead of Georgia and Auburn to claim fourth place in the team standings.
Vanderbilt enters match play at the conference tourney having experienced recent success in the format. In late March, the Commodores were stellar in three rounds of match play at the Lamkin Invitational in Southern California. Collectively, Vanderbilt players registered a 13-1-1 record while earning the Lamkin trophy.
Vanderbilt head coach Greg Allen said the Commodores achieved their first objective at the conference championship by advancing into match play, which features the top eight team finishers from stroke play.
It marks the second straight year that Allen’s squad has advanced to match-play competition at the SEC Championships. In 2018, the Commodores were ousted in the quarterfinals, 3-2, by Alabama.
“We’re excited about making it to match play and look forward to going head-to-head against Georgia. We know it will be a tough match. We’ll need to come out ready to play,” Allen said.
Playing in cool temperatures and steady showers, the Commodores received key contributions from Zeng, Carlson, Yu and Kim during Friday’s round. Zeng fired a 72, Carlson and Kim recorded rounds of 73, and Yu posted a 75.
“Today was another really good day of staying patient, accepting the tough conditions and just finding a way to get it done,” Allen added. “Lou [Yu] carried us early in the round and Court [Zeng] Abbey and Auston did a great job of staying patient and playing steady golf.”
Yu gave Vanderbilt a huge lift early by making three birdies early in the round. Sparked by Yu’s fast start, the Commodores quickly surged past Auburn and Georgia to take over fourth place before making the turn. The Commodores widened the margin over the Tigers and Bulldogs during the closing nine holes.
Carlson finished the stroke-play competition tied for 13th place in the medalist race. She fired a 1-over 73 that included a lone birdie and 16 pairs.
Zeng and Kim tied for 16th place after three rounds. After opening with a double bogey, Zeng used three birdies to fight back and finish the day with an even-par 72. Kim also played consistent golf, shooting a 2-over 74 while making just a single birdie.
After her strong start, Yu struggled on the closing nine to finish with a 3-over round. She made a team-high four birdies on the day. She finished in a tie for 25th place.
Baxendale struggled for the second straight day and finished with an 83.
Second Round (Stroke Play)
1. Florida (-1) 284-283-296 863
2. So. Carolina (+1) 287-286-292 865
3. Arkansas (+4) 291-287-290 868
4. Vanderbilt (+13) 296-288-293 877
T-5. Georgia (+18) 293-286-303 882
T-5. Auburn (+18) 284-298-300 882
7. Miss. State (+27) 294-298-299 891
8. Ole Miss (+28) 298-290-304 892
9. LSU (+32) 299-292-305 896
10. Tennessee (+33) 294-300-303 897
11. Alabama (+34) 301-292-305 898
12. Missouri (+36) 299-298-303 900
13. Texas A&M (+40) 300-293-311 904
14. Kentucky (+46) 304-299-307 910
T-13. Abbey Carlson (+3) 74-72-73 219
T-16. Auston Kim (+4) 75-72-73 220
T-16. Courtney Zeng (+4) 75-73-72 220
T-25. Louise Yu (+6) 76-71-75 222
T-65. Morgan Baxendale (+21) 72-82-83 237