COLUMBUS, Ohio — Wednesday turned out to be a bittersweet day in Ohio for Vanderbilt where the Commodores fell just four strokes short of advancing to the NCAA Championships, yet Louise Yu and Celina Sattelkau played well enough to move on to Scottsdale, Arizona, to compete for a national championship starting May 21.
Vanderbilt finished eighth overall as a team at 25-over-par for the Regional.
“This is such a bittersweet feeling,” Vanderbilt head coach Greg Allen said. “I’m thrilled that Celina and Lou will have a chance to play for an individual national championship next week but we are all just so bummed that we are not advancing as a team.”
Sattelkau and Yu, two of three individuals to advance to the NCAA Championships out of the Columbus Regional, led the way for Vandy on Wednesday and throughout the week. Yu was 2-under-par Wednesday and finished 1-over-par for the tournament to tie for fifth place overall while Sattelkau was 2-over-par for the day and for the tournament to finish tied for 11th overall.
That duo will next compete at the Grayhawk Golf Club along with 130 other participants.
As a team, Vandy blazed through the front nine Wednesday with nine birdies – three coming from Yu. The Commodores were 5-under-par for their round at that point.
On the back nine low scores proved more difficult to come by. Vandy recorded nine bogeys and four double bogeys to end up 3-over-par for the day.
“We did exactly what we needed to on the front nine. That was some of the best nine holes I’ve seen this team play this year. All five girls got off to great starts allowing us to close the gap at the turn,” Allen said. “But we totally lost momentum when we had a 25-minute backup on the 10th tee. Tuesday we used that backup as a chance to reset after the tough start. But there’s no doubt it hurt us today.
“We just didn’t handle it well on 10, 11 and 12. But I’m so proud of the effort coming down the stretch, and really, the effort the entire year.”
Kent State (+21) and Michigan (+21) claimed the final two spots to advance to the NCAA Championships while Oklahoma (+24) came in one stroke ahead of the Commodores and three strokes out of the making the cut. Georgia, which finished 14th out of 14 teams at the SEC Championships in April, won the Regional at 1-over-par.
Vandy’s Auston Kim had her best round of the week at 1-over-par and finished 14-over-par for the Regional. She finished in a tie for 55th overall.
Tess Davenport birdied two of her final four holes to finish 3-over-par Wednesday and 13-over-par for the tournament. She came in tied for 45th.
Jayna Choi, in her second 18 of the event, shot 3-over-par and finished at 5-over-par after 36 holes.
“This team, like most every team in sports, has had to overcome so much in the last 14 months. We will make sure to use this as a learning opportunity,” Allen said. “Three of the girls have never experienced the back nine of a NCAA Regional but I’m certain that what happened today will make them better.
“And I’d like to thank our seniors, Mo (Baxendale), Lou and Virginia (Green). We’re fortunate that Lou is coming back for a fifth year but we will really miss Mo and V. The three of them have made Vanderbilt women’s golf a better program the last four years and for that I am grateful. They know that we will always love them for who they are and not what they do.”
Jenny Bae was 4-under-par to win the Columbus Regional individual championship. Duke (+15), Arizona State (+16) and Kentucky (+19) also advanced to the NCAA Championships.