Round Three Photos | Match Play Results
The Commodore men's golf team captured the program's first East Lake Cup title in front of a national television audience at the East Lake Club in Atlanta after defeating two-time East Lake champion Illinois, 4-1 in the final match on Wednesday. The match play win added to the stroke-play title Vanderbilt earned on Monday.
"This place is amazing," said Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh. "We have had one of the best weeks we have ever been able to have. We are fortunate to be able to come here twice. I am just thankful. We want to be thankful for opportunities like this. This was a thrilling week for our program, and we have a lot of people who watched us on national television. That is what you dream of. You dream of opportunities on TV, of people watching and cheering for you."
Vanderbilt's wins on Wednesday came from Will Gordon, who knocked off Michael Feagles 2 & 1 in the opening match, from Harrison Ott, who won his match 1-up over Brendan O'Reilly, and from John Augenstein, who won his match 4 & 3 over Giovanni Tadiotto.
Gordon trailed in his match for the entire front nine before evening the match on number 10, and then winning holes 12, 14, and 15 to give him a three-up lead with three to play. Feagles won the 16th, but both players made par on 17 to give Gordon the 2 & 1 win.
"It was a good week for sure," said Gordon. "We wanted to come here and to end the fall on a good note and get a team win.
"This tournament is awesome," said Gordon. "Just to play on national TV and have your friends and family be able to watch. It is a really cool experience. It gets the jitters going, and I think that makes us better."
Ott played in the most entertaining match of the day, one that featured wild swings throughout the full 18 holes. Ott opened up a three-hole lead on the front nine, but O'Reilly charged back and made the match all-square on 12. The lead changed hands for the next three holes until Ott won holes 16 and 17 to emerge with a one-hole advantage heading to 18. The freshman from Brookfield, Wis., executed a nice pitch shot around the green to make a five on 18 and then watched O'Reilly's birdie putt to extend the match slide by to take the 1-up win.
"I am usually pretty even keeled which isn't great for match play," said Ott. "In the momentum swings, I learned to be a little more edgy, going after it, being a little more aggressive. It was really enjoyable."
Augenstein led for his entire match, and with a two-up lead on 13, won holes 14 and 15 to win his match over Tadiotto, 4 & 3.
"This is a great tournament to win because theoretically these are the four best teams from the year prior, and this is a great win for us and especially propels us into the offseason for sure."
The East Lake Cup is the Commodores' final event of the fall and returns to the course February 17-18 at the SunTrust Gator Invitational in Gainesville, Fla.
Vanderbilt 4, Illinois 1
Will Gordon Wins 2 & 1 over Michael Feagles
Harrison Ott Wins 1 Up over Brendan O'Reilly
John Augenstein Wins 4 & 3 over Giovanni Tadiotto
Patrick Martin halved his match with Nick Hardy
Theo Humphrey halved his match with Dylan Meyer