Vanderbilt is all smiles after their first SEC title
(Vanderbilt Athletics Photo)
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, SC (April 24, 2017) - The
Vanderbilt men's golf team secured the program's
first Southeastern Conference Championship on
Monday at the Sea Island Golf Club.
The Commodores were perfect at the SECs as they
finished first in the stroke play competition, then
went 3-0 in match play. On Monday, Vanderbilt
edged Texas A&M 3-2 as the clinching match needed
23 holes to decide it.
"I think I'm a little older this week than we started,"
Vanderbilt coach Scott Limbaugh said. "It's been an
amazing journey. I think these guys earned it this
week. We dominated the last round of stroke play,
and we talked about being the best at the end, and
we were the best at the end of this match. We're
excited. ... This is a resilient group. None of the
three matches were easy for us. We fought and
fought and fought and showed a tremendous
amount of character. That's what we've tried to
build this program on."
John Augenstein lifted the Commodores to the win
as he topped Andrew Paysse on the par-4, 417-yard
14th hole. After an errant tee shot to the right of the
cart path, Augenstein found a gap and dropped his
approach to within 15 feet. Paysee was short of the
green on his approach from the fairway and then
chipped up to eight feet. Augenstein's lag was good
enough for a pickup, then Paysee was unable to
convert his putt, setting off the Vanderbilt
Augenstein had been the hero of Vanderbilt's win
over 3-2 win over Florida in the semifinals as he won
on the second extra hole.
"The tee shot wasn't all that bad," Augenstein said.
"I missed my mark by about 10 yards and I ended
up being next to the cart path, and I got a really
solid drop. Coach (Dusty) Smith and I decided that
anything short of the green would be an easy up and
down to try and make par. With him in the fairway, I
didn't think he was going to make bogey. But I
absolutely pured it up and over the tree and it
actually came down pretty close.
"It's just a huge confidence booster for sure. Being a
freshman all year, although I don't really feel like a
freshman any more, I've been through a lot. But it's
still golf. I've had big tournaments and big matches,
but nothing where I've been this nervous on the golf
course. Normally, you just play for yourself, but out
here in match play, you're playing for the other guys
in the van. These guys are my brothers and I love
every single one of them."
Patrick Martin secured the first point for Vanderbilt
as he knocked off Brandon Smith 6&5. Theo
Humphrey secured the second Commodore point
with a 3-up win over Dan Erickson.
The Aggies picked up their two points from Cameron
Champ and Chandler Phillips. Champ topped Will
Gordon 2-up and Phillips defeated Matthias Schwab
"We talked about taking steps and this is a big one
for us to knock down that barrier," Limbaugh said.
"We think we have a special group. The challenge
will be to get a little bit better between now and
postseason, but I'm just happy for the boys. We're
going to enjoy this one." "We have a lot of fighters,"
Augenstein said. "We have a lot of guys that battle
and don't give in. Coach is really big on that. You
just never really know in match play, or in anything,
what the other guy is going to do. There are so
many things that go into it - the pressure and
anything like that. I just think we have fighters on
the team, battlers who believe in each other and
love each other and want the best for everyone.
That's a big part of it - playing for each other."
-Editors Note: Article is by Steve Colquitt of
ABOUT THE SEC Championship
54-hole stroke play tournament crowns an individual
champion, then eight teams advance to match play
determine the SEC team champion.
View Complete Tournament Information