Auston Kim (Vanderbilt Athletics photo)
A year ago, it was a breakthrough season for Vanderbilt’s women. The Commodores won five times in the regular season, and qualified for the national championship for the first time since 2014. On Tuesday, it was as if no time had passed and no seniors had graduated.
Vanderbilt opened its season with the Cougar Classic title at Yeamans Hall in Hanahan, S.C., narrowly beating the last year’s NCAA runner-up Wake Forest to do it.
It was a tight race for two days as Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and third-place Florida danced all around each other on the scoreboard. Vanderbilt had the edge when it opened with 10-under 278. A final-round 11-under 277 was the difference-maker.
Vanderbilt got to 27 under total, outscoring Wake Forest by one shot on Tuesday to edge them by one for the tournament. Florida also had a 10-under 278 in the final round, but finished another two shots back at 24 under for the tournament.
Trailing by a stroke late in the round, the Commodores managed to pull ahead of Wake Forest when Auston Kim and Louise Yu each made birdie on their finishing hole.
“That was an incredible finish,” head coach Greg Allen said. “I’ve been on the other side of that a few times so I knew anything could happen. I’m really proud of the fight and the toughness our girls showed late in the round. We didn’t get off to the greatest of starts, but the girls did what they needed to do down the stretch.”
Kim, from St. Augustine, Fla., won wire-to-wire. The sophomore had a bogey-free round of 6-under 66 in the final round. Kim captured medalist honors by seven strokes over Yu, who closed the tournament with an 8-under-par 64, the lowest single round in team history.
The individual victory is Kim’s second as a collegiate player, following up an impressive win last May at the NCAA Auburn Regional in Opelika, Ala.
Kim’s final score broke the former tournament record of 203 shared by LSU’s Austin Ernst (2011) and Florida’s Camilla Hedberg (2012).
Information from Vanderbilt Athletics used in this report
ABOUT THE Cougar Classic
54-hole women's college
tournament hosted by the College of Charleston.
(best four scores out of five players) and individual
View Complete Tournament Information