March 5, 2013
Sophomore Hunter Stewart won his first individual tournament of his career with a five-under par, 211, on Tuesday, and his Commodore teammates finished in second place with a team total of 876 (287-287-302) at the Samford Intercollegiate in Hoover, Ala.
The Commodores finished their final six holes of their second round this morning with a five-stroke lead, but struggled in their third and final round, posting a 302. Auburn tallied the best team score of the tournament in very windy, tough conditions in the final round, shooting a 286. The Tigers won the tournament by 11 strokes over the Commodores, and Vanderbilt finished four strokes better than third-place Georgia Southern.
Stewart's 211 (70-68-73) was two strokes ahead of Dominic Bozzelli of Auburn and Drew Aimone of Samford in the final individual standings. The sophomore from Lexington, Ky., now has three top five finishes this season and four top 10's.
Besides Stewart's 73, Vanderbilt's other counting scores in the third round were a 73 by junior Mills Rendell, a 75 from sophomore Ben Fogler, and an 81 from freshman Carson Jacobs. Junior Charlie Ewing shot an 82 in the third round.
"I was proud of how we came out and finished the second round this morning," said Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh. "Then, going into the third round, we just got off to a really slow start and weren't as resilient as we want to be. We had three guys play pretty well, but just lacked that crucial fourth and final counting round. Overall, we learned a lot of good things from this week and just have to continue to learn from our mistakes. We are making the climb as a team right now and every day matters.
"Obviously, I'm very proud of Hunter winning. He played some good golf this week and showed a lot of resilience down the stretch to capture his first collegiate title."
Ewing and Rendell each tied for 19th place, while Fogler finished in a tie for 23rd, and Jacobs a tie for 62nd.
The Commodores will return to the course March 15-17 at the Schenkel Invitational in Statesboro, Ga.