SUNSET, S.C. – The women’s golf squad matched a program record of tournament wins in a single season by capturing the Clemson Invitational on Tuesday.
The Commodores were awarded the Clemson Invitational trophy after severe storms forced tournament officials to halt play midway through the final round on Tuesday. Vanderbilt held a six-stroke advantage over Clemson when play was suspended.
In accepting the winning trophy at The Reserve at Lake Keowee, the Commodores claimed their fifth tournament title of the year. The win total matches the school record shared by the 2003-04 squad.
— Vanderbilt Women’s Golf (@VandyWGolf) April 11, 2019
The Clemson Invitational victory, which came against nine other teams ranked in Golfstat’s top 50, came in Vanderbilt’s final competition before the Southeastern Conference Championship and NCAA Regionals.
With official scores reverting to Monday results, the Commodores captured the Clemson Invitational with an impressive 36-hole total of 21-under 555. They defeated runner-up Auburn by eight strokes.
Afterward, a happy Vanderbilt head coach Greg Allen said leaving with the Clemson trophy underlines the importance of playing well in the opening rounds of a tournament.
“Days like today show that it pays to play well in the first two rounds. You never know when weather will pop up on top of you,” Allen said. “I do wish we could’ve finished today. I think playing those last 6-9 holes would have been a great learning opportunity for us. We were playing okay but there were some teams playing really well and making a move.
“Nevertheless, I’m thrilled to get this win. This group works so hard and they’re doing some really special things for our program.”
Strong play from senior Courtney Zeng, freshman Auston Kim and junior Abbey Carlson was critical to Vanderbilt’s 21-under total. Zeng and Kim finished in a tie for third in the medalist competition with a 36-hole total of 7-under 137. Carlson was just behind, tied for fifth in the individual race with a 6-under 138.
Sophomore Louise Yu also notched a top-20 individual result, shooting a 1-under 143.
The win marked Vanderbilt’s first victory at the Clemson Invitational in four appearances. Previously, the team’s best was fourth-place finishes in 2016 and 2018.
Vanderbilt, ranked No. 7 nationally by Golfstat, has been one of the collegiate golf’s hottest teams this year. After claiming a victory in the Mason Rudolph Championships last September, the Commodores have captured four of their last five tournaments, including wins at the UCF Challenge and Reynolds Lake Oconee Invitational in February, and the Lamkin Invitational in late March.
The Commodores will look to capture the program’s third stroke-play title at the SEC Championships. Last year, they advanced to match play but were ousted in the quarterfinals.
Allen has other goals for his Commodores before they get to Birmingham. “The next few days before SECs will be about recovering mentally, physically and academically,” the coach said.
Clemson Invitational Final Round Results
1. Vanderbilt -21 555 (278-277)