May 10, 2014
The Vanderbilt Commodore women's golf team once again dominated a tough field and led wire-to-wire to claim their second NCAA team regional championship in the history of the program on Saturday at the East Regional in Tallahassee, Fla. Individually, Jennifer Hahn won medalist honors at the regional for Vanderbilt's second career individual title and joins former Commodore great Jacqui Concolino as the only Vanderbilt player to accomplish the feat.
Vanderbilt has now won their last two tournaments - the SEC Championship and the NCAA Regional - by a combined 25 shots. The Commodores captured the SEC title by 11 shots and the East Regional by 14 shots over second-place South Carolina. The Dores, who set a new team course record at the SouthWood Golf Course on Thursday with an opening round 277, beat their own record on Saturday, shooting a 14-under par, 274.
Hahn torched the SouthWood Course herself on Saturday, firing a six-under par, 66, while carding six birdies and an eagle in route to her first career individual title. The Las Vegas, Nev., native finished with a three-round total of 207 (68-73-66), and won medalist honors by three shots over teammate Kendall Martindale, who carded a five-under par 67 on Saturday and a six-under par, 210 (72-71-67) for the tournament. Martindale finished a shot ahead of Irina Gabasa, who finished in a tie for fourth with a final total of 211 (70-72-69), along with South Carolina's Justine Draber and N.C. State's Augusta James.
"I got off to a slow start and was one over after the first two holes, " said Hahn. "I didn't take advantage of the par five on one, but made a good birdie on six and seven, which kind of got me going. I made the turn at one under, and on 10, I hit a really good four iron to about three feet on the par five, and had a tap-in for eagle. I then went eagle, birdie, birdie, so I was pretty hot at the start of the back nine. I knew I had to calm down a little bit, but it was fun.
"I was hitting the ball really well today. Yesterday I couldn't make a lot of putts, but they seemed to be falling today."
In all, Vanderbilt had four golfers in the top 11 on the individual leader board with Simin Feng ending the tournament in a tie for 11th with a score of 213 (68-73-72). Antonia Scherer also had a stellar tournament, finishing in a tie for 24th with a final total of one-over par, 217 (71-73-73).
The Commodores' three-round score of 840 set a new program-best for 54 holes, beating the former record at the 2014 Central District Invitational by four shots. The final-round 274 also set a new single-round program record by one shot that was previously held in 2006 at the Stanford-Pepsi Intercollegiate on a par-71 format.
Individually, Hahn becomes the Commodores' third medalist of the season, joining Feng, who won two individual titles this season at the Central District and the SEC Championship, respectively. Her 207 total in Tallahassee is the second-lowest in program history, and her final-round 66 ties for the second-lowest individual round in the history of the program.
"They got off to a great start and made a lot of birdies," said Vanderbilt head coach Greg Allen. "We thought after the first practice round that the scores would be low and there were a lot of good teams behind us, so we didn't think the lead was safe. They just came out and kept increasing that lead, and Jenny got it going on the back nine. I've never seen a back nine played that good. She goes eagle, birdie, birdie right out of the gate and never let up. I'm really proud of her, and really proud of the whole team. From start to finish, every one of them made a huge impact on this tournament."
The Commodores will represent the East Regional as the number one seed May 20-23 at the NCAA Championship in Tulsa, Okla., at the Tulsa Country Club.
"These five girls, we click together so well," said Hahn. "We have so much team chemistry and it's really hard to play bad with these five."