The Commodores’ Theo Humphrey and John Augenstein each carded a three-under 69 in their third round of the NCAA Championship to lead Vanderbilt into the top spot on the team leaderboard at Rich Harvest Farms after the Commodores recorded an eight-under par, 280, in their round Sunday. Vanderbilt holds a one-shot lead over a trio of teams, Oklahoma, UNLV, and Southern California, heading into the fourth and final round of stroke play Monday afternoon.
Humphrey’s 69 was aided by a back-nine 32, which included two birdies, which came on 11 and 14, no bogeys, and a 40-foot eagle bomb on 18 to close his round. His third-round score vaulted the junior 19 spots on the individual leader board into a tie for 22nd place. Augenstein’s 69 came on a team-best seven birdies, two bogeys, and a double bogey, and is in a tie for 24th individually.
Lost in Humphrey’s eagle putt and Augenstein’s birdie display was Schwab’s steady walk around Rich Harvest Farms on Sunday. The Austrian senior made his third round look effortless and drama-free with two birdies and a string of par-saving putts peppered throughout his round to post a two-under par, 70. Schwab is Vanderbilt’s leader on the individual scoreboard after three rounds with a nine-under par, 207 (67-70-70), which is tied for third with Illinois’ Dylan Meyer, three shots behind top individual Scottie Scheffler of Texas and a shot back of second-place Braden Thornberry of Ole Miss.
“I’m happy with how I played,” said Schwab. “From what I can tell now, the team is doing well too, so I’m happy and excited with where I am and where the team is. I think the first two days were nice, but we’ve just got to finish it off tomorrow.”
Vanderbilt will lead a group of 15 teams into the final round of stroke play Monday afternoon, with the Commodores beginning their round at 12:50 p.m. CT. Golf Channel coverage begins at 3 p.m. CT with the top eight teams after Monday’s round advancing to match play, which begins on Tuesday morning.
“We talked about coming out early and just being excited to have the opportunity to compete together,” said Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh. “You really try to not take things for granted this time of year and just want the guys to embrace the moment they are in right now. I thought we did a better job controlling our emotions today than we did yesterday and I think that helped us finish strong today. It was a full team effort with all five guys playing well. John really played solid today. Making seven birdies on that course is very good. Theo had an awesome back nine and capped it off with an unbelievable eagle putt on that last. And Matthias was as steady as ever. He holed some really big par putts on the last three holes which kept him bogey free for the day which was very impressive.”
The Commodores received contributions from the entire five-man squad Sunday afternoon, with Vanderbilt counting Augenstein and Humphrey’s 69’s, Schwab’s 70, and Patrick Martin’s 72. Will Gordon was one shot back of Martin with a third-round 73, but the sophomore from Davidson, N.C., was two-under on his back nine. Vanderbilt’s 280 tied for the low round of the day with Southern California, who also finished with an eight-under par Sunday total.
“Today was a step we knew we wanted to take because this time of year tomorrow is not guaranteed,” said Limbaugh. “You have to continue to earn the right to play the next day. That’s why having the right kind of focus is so important and it will certainly be important again tomorrow. You have to be able to control your own play box and not worry about the finish line. We need to be ourselves, have fun, and let the rounds come to us. It’s our next opportunity to take another step towards being the team we want to be and that is exciting.”
The Commodores will play with Oklahoma and UNLV on Monday afternoon at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. Other teams to qualify include Illinois, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Virginia, Auburn, LSU, Texas, Florida State, Oregon, Pepperdine, and UCF.
1. Vanderbilt - 278-288-280=846
T3. Matthias Schwab - 67-70-70=207
T22. Theo Humphrey - 71-72-69=212
T24. John Augenstein - 74-70-69=213
T50. Patrick Martin - 69-76-72=217
T95. Will Gordon - 71-79-73=223