The Vanderbilt's men’s golf team won their third tournament in their last four events and senior Theo Humphrey captured his first career individual championship on Sunday at the Schenkel Invitational in Statesboro, Ga. at the Forest Heights Country Club. The Commodores finished the tournament at 29-under par, 835 (274-279-282), eight shots better than host Georgia Southern, while Humphrey won medalist honors by two shots with a 13-under par, 203 total (66-69-68) for the weekend.
The win Sunday is Vanderbilt’s second this spring (SunTrust Gator Invitational) and the third since the Commodores took home the East Lake Cup stroke and match play honors to close the fall season in November. It is the 24th title in the history of the program and the 17th for head coach Scott Limbaugh, who took over the program beginning with the 2012-13 campaign. Humphrey’s win, his first as a collegian, is the 23rd individual title won by a Commodore, and the second this season after Will Gordon won individual honors at the East Lake Cup in Atlanta.
The three wins this year is also the second-most in a season in program history, behind the four the Commodores won in the 2015-16 season, and the Schenkel Invitational win is the team’s second in the last three years.
The fifth-ranked Commodores, who led wire-to-wire in Statesboro in the 54-hole event, counted a bogey-free, four-under 68 from Humphrey, a three-under 69 from junior Patrick Martin, a one-under par 71 from junior Will Gordon, and a pair of two-over 74’s from sophomore John Augenstein and Mason Greenberg.
Humphrey, who tied for the tournament lead in par-three scoring (2.83 strokes) and tied for fourth in birdies made (16), beat out a trio of players, Jake Storey and Archer Price of Georgia Southern and Stephen Franken of North Carolina State, by two shots.
“I am so proud of this group and how they responded to the challenge this week,” said Limbaugh. “We learned last week that our actions determine our outcomes and we had to own taking a better approach mentally. Patrick got off to a great start and was able to give us a really good round. Gordo played well all day I thought, he just didn’t get any putts to fall on the back nine, but I was proud of how he handled himself. He’s playing at a very high level right now. I simply couldn’t be prouder of Theo. He handled himself and the situation in front of him with a lot of mental toughness today. He has been knocking on the door, learning, growing, and today he was able to get the job done which was big for him and our group. I want the guys to enjoy this because they earned it.”
Gordon finished in a tie for fifth individually with a nine-under par 207 (67-69-71), his fourth top five finish of the season and ninth of his career. Augenstein carded a two-under 214 (69-71-74) for the weekend and finished in a tie for 17th, Greenberg had the best finish of his career with an even-par 216 (72-70-74), which was good for a tie for 32nd, while Martin finished in a tie for 37th with a one-over 217 (72-76-69).
“We have a little break before the Mason Rudolph and we need to be focused on improving,” said Limbaugh. “In my opinion, we have to have higher demands for each other for the goal that we can be our best when our best will be needed. You have to earn that right and it’s done by holding yourself and each other to the highest levels. The challenge is for us to continue to have a group mentality so we can have a group identity and I want us to embrace that.”
Vanderbilt returns to the course April 13-15 at their own Mason Rudolph Championship at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn.
1. Vanderbilt - 274-279-282=835
1. Theo Humphrey - 66-69-68=203
T5. Will Gordon - 67-69-71=207
T17. John Augenstein - 69-71-74=214
T32. Mason Greenberg - 72-70-74=216
T37. Patrick Martin - 72-76-69=217
82. Harrison Ott - 78-82-75=235*
*Playing as individual