The Commodores’ men’s golf team ended the stroke-play portion of the SEC Championship at the Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course in a tie for second with Florida and will advance to match play as the number three seed, which begins Saturday morning. Vanderbilt will take on sixth-seeded Alabama at 7:20 CT off of the 10th tee.
The Commodores ended the three rounds of stroke play with a three-round total of 843 (276-283-284), which was nine shots back of LSU, who had the best total in the 14-team field with an 834.
Vanderbilt carded a 284 on Friday in the final round of stroke play, counting a two-under 68 from sophomore John Augenstein and a two-over 72 from the other four Commodores, senior Theo Humphrey, juniors Will Gordon and Patrick Martin, and redshirt freshman Mason Greenberg.
“Today was another good test for our team and I thought we took a good step,” said Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh. “Once again, we had all five guys in there fighting and that was really the difference. The final stroke play round of the SEC Championship is always going to give you some challenges physically and mentally. I thought we fought through it pretty well and played a solid round that we needed. We didn’t play winning golf today, but we did a lot of really good things. John was especially solid for us today and really lifted the group up and kept his composure all day. The challenge is to continue to be able to keep the right focus on the right things and when things are hard like they were today, it will ultimately help us down the road.”
Humphrey was Vanderbilt’s top finisher individually, finishing in a tie for seventh with a 208 total (68-68-72). Augenstein moved into the top ten with his final-round 68 and 210 total (T-10, 69-73-68), with Gordon finishing in a tie for 24th with a 213 (68-73-72), Martin in a tie for 26th with a 214 (71-71-72), and Greenberg in a tie for 54th with a final score of 222 (79-71-72).
Vanderbilt dropped the tie-breaker to the Gators for match play seeding, and will take on Alabama, who finished in a tie for fourth with Auburn and Arkansas but the tiebreaker with the Tigers and Razorbacks moved the Crimson Tide to the sixth seed.
Other matchups for Saturday’s quarterfinals matches include No. 1 seed LSU against No. 8 seed Texas A&M, No. 2 seed Florida against No. 7 seed Ole Miss, and No. 4 seed Auburn against No. 5 seed Arkansas. The quarterfinal matches will feature six out of the top 11 ranked teams in the nation according to Golfstat.com (No. 2 Texas A&M, No. 4 Vanderbilt, No. 6 Alabama, No. 7 Florida, No. 9 Auburn, No. 11 LSU) with Arkansas coming in ranked 16th and Ole Miss 34th.
“Match play is so much fun and presents a new kind of challenge,” said Limbaugh. “The focus kind of turns from trying to beat the golf course to now trying to beat the guy you are playing. We need to adjust our mindset and be enthusiastic about having the opportunity to compete again tomorrow.”
The Commodores’ lineup against the Crimson Tide on Saturday morning is as follows:
7:20 AM CT - Will Gordon vs. Lee Hodges
7:30 AM CT - Mason Greenberg vs. Davis Riley
7:40 AM CT - Patrick Martin vs. Davis Shore
7:50 AM CT - John Augenstein vs. Wilson Farr
8:00 AM CT - Theo Humphrey vs. Jonathan Hardee