The Commodores’ men’s golf team closed the SunTrust Gator Invitational in style on Sunday afternoon in Gainesville, Fla., posting a single-round tournament-best 10-under par, 270, to claim the tournament title by nine shots over host Florida with a final three-round total of 18-under par, 822 (274-278-270). Three Commodores - senior Will Gordon, sophomore John Augenstein and senior Theo Humphrey - finished in the top 10 on the individual leader board to propel No. 6-ranked Vanderbilt to its second consecutive team championship after claiming the East Lake Cup in Atlanta to close the fall campaign.
Vanderbilt, who led by one shot over the Gators entering the final round Sunday, put their foot on the accelerator in their third trip around the par-70, 6,701-yard Mark Bostick Golf Course, counting a 64 from Augenstein, which tied a tournament low, a 66 from Gordon and a pair of 70’s from Humphrey and junior Patrick Martin. In all on Sunday, the Commodores counted 16 birdies in their championship-winning performance.
Gordon (66-72-66) and Augenstein (69-71-64) each carded a 204 total to finish in a tie for fourth individually. Humphrey posted a 206 (68-68-8=70) and finished in a tie for eighth, Martin turned in a 208 (71-67-70) for his three rounds to end the tournament in a tie for 16th and Mason Greenberg, competing in his first tournament as a Commodore, ended the event with a 220 (72-72-76, T-58).
“We definitely knew it would take a great round today if we were going to have a chance to win,” said Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh. “Our focus had to just be on us and doing the things we know we have to do. I thought getting off to a good start would be big today and the boys did that. John played an awesome round today and I am so excited with how he handled his emotions. He is a special player and he’s sold out to Vanderbilt golf and our team. Coach Todd did a great job keeping John in the moment all day long. Gordo got off to a great start as well and really did a great job keeping momentum all round. He’s playing well and doing a nice job focusing on the right things. This was a team win and anytime you have a great round like today, it certainly takes everyone playing with great competitive character.”
Although Vanderbilt used a plethora of birdies on the final day to cruise to the tournament title, it was the Commodores’ steadiness around the Bostick Golf Course that was the main ingredient in winning the championship. Vanderbilt led the tournament with 185 pars, four better than second-place UCF, and two players - Martin and Humphrey - finished second and third, respectively, in total pars for an individual with 41 and 40. The Commodores also took advantage of the par-fives, leading the field with an aggregate total of -19 and tied for the tournament lead in par-four scoring.
Individually, Gordon and Augenstein finished two shots back of champion Hayden Buckley of Missouri, who carded an eight-under par, 202 (70-68-64).
“I am happy for the guys,” said Limbaugh. “They were really eager to get this spring started and for us to have or tie for the low round all three rounds was impressive. We need to enjoy this and also embrace our climb and getting a little better every single day. We aren’t disappointed with where we are, but all of us know we have to get better.”
Vanderbilt will return to the course March 3-5 at the Querencia Cabo Intercollegiate in Los Cabos, Mexico.
1. Vanderbilt - 274-278-270=822
T4. Will Gordon - 66-72-66=204
T4. John Augenstein - 69-71-64=204
T8. Theo Humphrey - 68-68-70=206
T16. Patrick Martin - 71-67-70=208
T58. Mason Greenberg - 72-72-76=220
T58. Harrison Ott - 70-77-73=220*