The Vanderbilt men’s golf team carded an 11-under par, 277 in its final round at the NCAA Kissimmee Regional, sending the Commodores to the NCAA Championship for the fifth consecutive season with a third-place finish and a final total of 22-under par, 842 (283-282-277). Junior Patrick Martin carded seven birdies in his final-round 67 Wednesday and led the team on the individual leaderboard for the three-day event with a final score of 206 (69-70-67), which tied him for third.
Entering Wednesday’s play, Vanderbilt sat on the top-five cutline in a tie for fifth, but the Dores showed their championship resolve with their 11-under total, which included 24 birdies on the day. The Commodores counted a four-under par 68 from junior Will Gordon, who had five birdies and only one bogey in his round on the Watson Course at Reunion Resort, and a pair of one-under pars from senior Theo Humphrey and sophomore John Augenstein.
Gordon tied for 12th for the tournament with a final total of 210 (71-71-68), while Humphrey (75-69-71=215) and Mason Greenberg (70-72-73=215) ended the regional tied for 32nd, while Augenstein carded a three-round score of 217 (73-73-71, T-45).
“I am not sure I have ever been as proud of this group,” said Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh, who will be making his fifth appearance at the NCAA Championship. “They fought, battled, and competed with everything they had today. Great competitors live for moments like this. I think in these moments, you kind of know your guys that have been there before have to step up and ours did today. We talked last night about how this had to be done together by believing in yourself and your brothers. It was a total team effort from start to finish.
"Patrick and Gordo handled themselves like champions today and really did a great job staying with their process. They both made some huge putts on our final few holes that lifted us up. John showed a lot of maturity today without his best stuff, he just kept hanging in there and that allowed him to finish strong. Everything matters on a day like today and us having all five guys in it really mattered a lot. Theo and Mason had some really good rounds going and probably didn’t finish the way they wanted to, but those are growing experiences. We will learn from this and be better because of it. I want our boys to enjoy this because they earned it! It’s tough not to let doubt and fear get in there and stay focused on the right things, but that’s what you have to do. I felt like we did a better job of that today and we will have to do a better job going forward, but this was fun!”
The Commodores will join Florida, UCF, North Carolina and Kent State in the NCAA Championship in Stillwater, Okla. The Gators won the team title with a final total of 42-under par, 822 (276-275-271), and Florida’s Andy Zhang also claimed medalist honors with a 13-under par, 203.
Vanderbilt will return home to Nashville and then travel to Stillwater for NCAA Championship competition May 25-30 at the Karsten Creek Golf Club.
“We know we need to do some things better next week,” said Limbaugh. “Everybody on our team did some big things for us this week. That’s why it’s about the team, embracing your role, and we will have to do that again next week. It’s another great opportunity and one we will certainly be excited about.”