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Vanderbilt edges Arkansas to claim the SEC Championship
25 Apr 2021
by Kevin Price of AmateurGolf.com

see also: View results for SEC Championship, Sea Island Golf Club - Seaside Course

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- Vanderbilt Men's Golf photo
- Vanderbilt Men's Golf photo

Vanderbilt’s William Moll’s par putt on the 18th hole earned the sophomore a 1-up victory over Manual Lozada of Arkansas and gave the Commodores and 3&2 victory over the Razorbacks in the championship match of the Southeastern Conference Men’s Golf Championships on the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club on Sunday.

Following wins by Julian Perico and SEC stroke play medalist Segundo Oliva Pinto, Arkansas held a 2 & 1 lead with two matches still on the course. Reid Davenport earned a win in his match against Tyson Reeder with a par on the 18 th hole to level the match, setting the stage for the Moll-Lozada contest to decide the SEC Championship.

The two players were never separated by more than a hole as Moll led 1-up twice on the front before they went to the back nine all-square. Moll quickly grabbed a 1-up lead when Lozada made bogey at 10, and then went 2-up when the Razorback player also made bogey at 14.  Lozada’s clutch birdie on 16 and par-save from a greenside bunker on the par-3 17th extended the match to the demanding 18th, where the rules official had to flip a coin to see who went first from the fairway when the players hit their tee shots the same distance and less than 10 yards apart. 

Moll lost the coin toss, so he hit first and landed his second shot about 15 feet from the flag. Lozada followed by landing his approach just inside Moll’s as both were right of the flag and faced downhill putts for birdie.  Moll nestled his close to the cup before Lozada nearly made his to send the quest for the crown into a sudden- death playoff. He dropped his putter in disbelief as the gallery groaned while watching the ball spin out of the hole. 

Moll still had to make one last putt which he did to clinch the victory by the Commodores in coastal Georgia. With a large gallery surrounding the 18th green, Moll calmly sank his par putt for the 1-up victory, sealing the Commodores’ second SEC title in four seasons.

“I knew from about the middle of the 16th hole on, the match was going to come down to our match ,” Moll said. “I kept the same mindset, but I was relatively nervous. “The putt was probably 2 to 2 ½ feet but straight up the hill and dead straight. I just got over it, did my routine and knocked it in.”

“Arkansas is a tough match-play opponent,” said Vandy coach Scott Limbaugh. “It’s hard to know where you are gonna get your points against them. I knew if we were going to have a chance it was going to come down to a moment like that, and it did.

“Fortunately for us, William has been as consistent a player as there has been in the SEC all year long, and we’ll take having him out there with the light shining.”

Vandy won this year’s tournament as the No. 6 seed following 54 holes of stroke-play to set the 8-team field for match-play to decide the team champion. The Commodores made the cut at plus-13 853 over three rounds on the par-70 course which played slightly over 7,000 yards for this week’s championship.

“Anytime you win the SEC tournament, it’s a monumental win in my opinion,” said Limbaugh. “Our league’s deep this year. We knew coming here, you had to give it everything you had to get through stroke play one day at a time, and we felt fortunate to do that to get into match play.”

Vanderbilt advanced to the championship match with convincing wins over No. 3 Tennessee in the quarterfinals No. 2 Alabama in the semis.

Results: SEC Championship
1ArgentinaSegundo Oliva PintoArgentina80064-72-68=204
2GASpencer RalstonGainesville, GA50068-67-71=206
3GADavis ThompsonSt. Simons, GA40068-71-69=208
4TNSpencer CrossSevierville, TN40065-73-71=209
T5SCJamie WilsonMt. Pleasant, SC40070-72-68=210

View full results for SEC Championship

ABOUT THE SEC Championship

54-hole stroke play tournament crowns an individual champion, then eight teams advance to match play to determine the SEC team champion.

View Complete Tournament Information

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