KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. - The Vanderbilt women's golf squad opened their fall campaign with an eighth-place finish at the Ocean Course Invitational just south of Charleston.
Greg Allen's squad closed with a final-round 303 on Tuesday to conclude the 54-hole competition with a total score of 900. The Commodores were just eight strokes off the pace of third-place finishers Florida and Wake Forest.
Allen left the Kiawah Golf Resort property with plenty of positives from a young Commodore squad getting valuable contributions from a sophomore and two freshmen.
"I don't like getting beat by anybody much less seven other teams, but I'm walking away encouraged with what I saw the last couple days," Allen said. "This team has heart and a ton of potential. We have a lot of work ahead of us and several areas where we need to get better, starting with better course management, especially on the par-5s."
The Commodores showed plenty of firepower, topping the 16-team field with par-3 scoring and total birdies. The squad's cumulative par-3 total of six-over matched tourney titliest North Carolina State. The five Commodores also posted a tournament-best 45 birdies, one more than Florida State.
Unfortunately, Vanderbilt could not muster similar results on par-5s. The Commodores were 11-over on par-5s, 19 strokes off Wake Forest's leading total.
Senior Alexandra Farnsworth and junior Courtney Zeng paced the Commodores Tuesday, shooting one-over 74 on the tough oceanside layout.
Freshman Morgan Baxendale registered the team's low individual score while making her collegiate debut. She closed with a three-over 76 Tuesday, and finished 22nd in the individual competition with a three-day total of 227. Baxendale shot rounds of 73 and 78 on Monday during a 36-hole marathon.
Three Commodores shot three-day totals of 228 - Farnsworth (72-82-74), Zeng (77-77-74) and sophomore Abbey Carlson (76-75-77) - to share 29th place. Freshman Virginia Green, who topped the squad on Monday, finished T-47 with rounds of 75-73-81.
The Commodores will take this week off from competition, prepping to host the Mason Rudolph Championship at the Vanderbilt Legends North course Sept. 15-17. "We'll get home to Nashville, get caught up in school and start preparing for the Mason," Allen said.
The Mason Rudolph is expected to feature one of the strongest fields during the fall calendar, including 2017 NCAA champion Arizona State, national runner-up Northwestern, and five more teams that played in the national championship.
Ocean Course Invitational (Final Results)
8. Vanderbilt - 296-303-301=900
T-22. Morgan Baxendale - 73-78-76=227
T-29. Alexandra Farnsworth - 72-82-74=228
T-29. Courtney Zeng - 77-77-74=228
T-29. Abbey Carlson - 76-75-77=228
T-37. Virginia Green - 75-73-81=229