Vanderbilt Men’s Golf | Sherwood Sparks Commodores

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Cole Sherwood was the first off the tee for the Vanderbilt men’s golf team on Friday, and the youngster wasted little time setting the tone for the Commodores in the NCAA Championship.

The junior scored a team-high six birdies, including four on his last six holes, for a 4-under-par 66 in the opening round, and the effort helped Vandy close out the opening day of the tournament tied for fourth. in the team standings with a total of 282 2-over-par.

Reid Davenport shot a pair of 70s and Gordon Sargent supplied a 71, with William Moll and Matthew Riedel posting scores of 75 and 77, respectively.

“We knew it was important to get off to a good start, I’m proud of how we fought. That’s important in any tournament, but especially this one, it’s a marathon and we’re trying to play the long game,” head coach Scott Limbaugh said. “I think we showed a lot of toughness and discipline by sticking to our plan all day, the guys held on.”

Opening on the 7,289-yard, par-70 Grayhawk Golf Club 10th hole, Sherwood birdied and bogeyed the front nine to make the turn to par-even, and followed up a 395-yard three on the second with another wraith. But he responded with a birdie at No. 4, then posted three straight starting at the sixth for a 31 in his last nine and his lowest round of the spring semester.

Davenport, playing immediately behind Sherwood, recorded back-to-back birdies at numbers 14 and 15 and added another at the second for his first round at or below par this postseason. Sargent closed with birdies on the seventh and eighth holes, while Riedel added a pair of birdies on the day.

“Cole Sherwood has been trying to make it happen, and it finally happened today. That was big for him and obviously huge for our team,” Limbaugh said. “I didn’t get to see much of it, but it seemed to me that he followed through with his plan and got a few putts to go. He’s been trying to force good golf, and it looks like he allowed some great golf to happen today.

“Reid was really big today, for him and Cole to come out leading the charge in an afternoon round and getting this going was important for our team. That is why we believe in him so much and we are happy that he is on our team. And Gordon really allowed a finish to happen, he made a couple of good putts at numbers 7 and 8.”

Georgia Tech took the lead with a par 280 and is one shot ahead of Arkansas and Pepperdine. The Dores are tied with North Carolina and Texas Tech. The Yellowjackets’ Ross Steelman posted a 6-under 64 and is two strokes ahead of Sherwood and two other players in the individual standings.

The Commodores will once again play Illinois and North Carolina in the second round, with all three teams starting at No. 1 at 8:10 am CT on Saturday. Live scoring for the event can be found HERE.

“I think we’ll be better off, really,” Limbaugh said. “The score is one thing, but there are some things that we have to improve. We did some things a little lightly, but we know who all these guys are. We just have to be up and ready to go tomorrow.

“This week is about everyone, we need more people to do the right thing. People stepped up today, we need more people to step up tomorrow.”

The top 15 teams and the top nine individuals not from one of those programs will advance to the final round of stroke play on Monday.