Round Two Photos | Match Play Results
The Commodore men's golf team has moved on to the finals of the East Lake Cup after defeating the University of Oregon, 4-1-0, in their semifinal match on Tuesday at the East Lake Club in Atlanta. The trip to the finals will be Vanderbilt's first for the program, where they will take on two-time defending champion Illinois.
Vanderbilt got off to a fast start after juniors Will Gordon and Patrick Martin, who were playing first and second, quickly took control of their matches. Gordon, who won his match 4 & 3 over Edwin Yi, and Martin, who defeated Ryan Gronlund, 2 & 1, never trailed in their match and combined to lose only four holes in their walk around East Lake Tuesday.
"I played really solid," said Gordon, who won medalist honors in the stroke play portion of the tournament on Monday. "I just got off to a good start birdieing the first hole. Coach and I just walked around, and I was trying to play the golf course as best as I could and get a little bit better from yesterday and that's what I did."
The Commodores deciding point came in senior Theo Humphrey's match against Thomas Mulligan in the number five match, with Humphrey pulling away on the back nine in a match he never trailed. With the match all square on number 11, Humphrey won 12, 13, and then birdied 16 to win his match 3 & 2.
"I just kept the ball in the fairway today," said Humphrey. "I feel like that's the most important thing out here because if you do that, you can attack, and you can make birdies, and I was able to do that. By not being out of position, I kept the pressure on Thomas the entire day and was lucky enough to get a win."
"It certainly feels good," said Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh after the win Tuesday. "We respect Oregon and Coach Martin. Our guys were focused today. [Oregon] didn't play poorly, I thought we really played good golf today. I just kind of challenged them last night. I didn't think I needed to give some huge pep talk, but we respect that team because we've been in a lot of battles with them. And we knew our best was going to be required."
Vanderbilt will face off against the two-time winner of the East Lake Cup, Illinois, on Wednesday in the finals. Illinois knocked off Oklahoma in their semifinal match on Tuesday.
"We played really well here last year, and it was unfortunate to lose to Oregon in the first round and not to give ourselves a chance," said Martin. "I think we have a great team this year again, and it's such a good venue and good tournament and to be able to have a chance to win that trophy would be really important. Having that chance is great, and I'm honored that we get to come to an event like this."
Live coverage of the East Lake Cup on the Golf Channel begins at 2 p.m. CT, with the Commodores beginning their round at 11:55 CT.
Vanderbilt 4, Oregon 1
Will Gordon Wins 4 & 3 over Edwin Yi
Patrick Martin Wins 2 & 1 over Ryan Gronlund
Norman Xiong Wins 6 & 4 over Harrison Ott
John Augenstein Wins 4 & 1 over Donald Kay
Theo Humphrey Wins 3 & 2 over Thomas Mulligan