GREENSBORO, Ga. – The Vanderbilt women’s golf team captured the Reynolds Lake Oconee Invitational on Sunday giving it back-to-back titles for the first time in nearly five years.
The Commodores started quickly Sunday morning, overtaking first-round leader Texas Tech in the opening nine holes, then went on overwhelm the Reynolds Lake Oconee field with an impressive closing round to notch a 12-stroke team victory.
The dominating performance allowed Vanderbilt to notch victories in consecutive tournaments for the first time since 2014 when the Commodores captured the SEC Championships and NCAA East Regional.
Freshman Auston Kim continued her stellar spring form, leading the Commodores with a 4-under 68 in the third round. The performance enabled Kim to finish in a second-place tie in the medalist competition.
Head coach Greg Allen was pleased with the way his Commodores responded after a lackluster start to the tournament on Saturday.
“I was so proud of the way the girls bounced back today,” Allen said. “This was really a team effort. I thought everybody contributed and did a great job of handling the frustration (from Saturday).
“It wasn’t always pretty but no one ever hung their heads when putts weren’t dropping. They just kept competing. That was great to see and will help us as we continue into the season,” Allen added.
Kim, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Year, earned her fourth top-10 individual finish with an even-par total of 216. On Sunday, she showed plenty of resiliency, responding from a disappointing second to register five birdies enroute to the third-round 68. Kim’s final-round score in damp, cool conditions was two strokes better than any of the other 104 golfers participating on Sunday.
Kim’s performance also followed her runner-up finish in medalist competition at the UCF Challenge in early February. This year, she also has top-10 results at the Mason Rudolph Championship and the Powerade Cougar Classic.
Junior Abbey Carlson battled back from a disappointing opening-round 77 to post a top-five individual finish. She closed the tournament with a pair of 1-under-par rounds to claim fifth place with a 3-over total of 219.
Sophomore Morgan Baxendale just missed a top-10 result, finishing in a tie for 11th place with an 8-over total of 224. She finished just ahead of another sophomore, Louise Yu, who registered a 10-over total of 226 to tie for 13th place. Senior Courtney Zeng finished in a tie for 25th place with a 54-hole total of 228.
Sophomore Virginia Green shot a total of 234 competing as an individual in the medalist competition.
The Commodores will return to competition in early March in search of their third consecutive team trophy at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate. It is scheduled March 8-10 at Long Cove Golf Club in Hilton Head, S.C.
Reynolds Lake Oconee Invitational Team Standings
1. Vanderbilt +17 881 (292-299-290)
Vanderbilt Individual Scores
T-2. Auston Kim E 216 (70-78-68)
5. Abbey Carlson +3 219 (77-71-71)
T-11. Morgan Baxendale +8 224 (70-77-77)
T-13. Louise Yu +10 226 (77-73-76)
T-25. Courtney Zeng +12 228 (75-78-75)
Other Vanderbilt Participants
T-51. Virginia Green +18 234 (75-79-80)