Vanderbilt's Gordon Sargent wins NCAA title on first playoff hole
NCAA individual champion Gordon Sargent
NCAA individual champion Gordon Sargent

Vanderbilt's Gordon Sargent picked the right time to make his only birdie of the day on Monday.

Locked in a four-way playoff with Texas' Parker Coody, Oklahoma State's Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra and North Carolina's Ryan Burnett, Sargent rolled in a five-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole to become the ninth freshman to win the NCAA individual championship.

Sargent's win came one week after another freshman, Rose Zhang of Stanford, claimed the women's individual title on the same course, Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

After turning in his second consecutive round of 68 on Sunday, Sargent took a one-stroke lead into the final round at 4-under par over Charcarra and Chris Gotterup of Oklahoma.

Three players seemingly had their hands on the trophy coming down the closing holes at Grayhawk, however, none of them was Sargent, who spent most of the day quietly lurking alongside veterans Chacarra and Gotterup.

Burnett and Coody, who started the day four strokes off the lead, shot even par rounds of 70 to finish at even for the tournament. Starting his round on the 10th hole, the Texas senior briefly held the lead at 1-under after ripping off three straight birdies on holes 3, 4 and 5 but slipped back to event with a bogey on the last.

It looked as though the individual champion would come out of the last group consisting of Sargent, Chacarra and Gotterup, and that's eventually the way it played out, but not without some twists and turns along the way.

Chacarra, who was just one stroke back of Sargent at the start of the day, had an adventurous first nine holes with two bogeys, a double and a triple to go along with four birdies. With birdies on 10 and 15, Chacarra moved to 1-under for the tournament and had one-stroke lead with just two holes remaining.

However, his tee shot on the short par-4 17th came to rest behind a native bush and after muscling his second shot to the front of the green, Chacarra failed to save his par from some 90 feet away to drop back to even.

Meanwhile, Gotterup wedged his approach to within three feet, setting up an excellent birdie chance to take the outright lead heading into the final hole. He missed badly but made his comebacker, creating a four-way tie for the lead at even par.

All three players hit perfect drives on 18. Chacarra and Sargent just missed their birdie putts, while Gotterup's putting woes led to another bogey, costing him a spot in the playoff.

On the first playoff hole, the 18th at Grayhawk, errant tee shots by Chacarra and Coody ultimately led to bogeys. After Burnett hit his approach to 30 feet, Sargent's wedge from 140 yards out came to rest five feet below the hole, setting up an excellent birdie opportunity.

When Burnett's birdie try missed on the right side, the stage was set for Sargent, who drilled the putt for his only birdie of the day to win the national championship.

“It definitely took a lot of patience out there – it was playing tough,” Sargent said. “I just kind of stuck to my game and just let it fall into place. It was just a tough day and just had to manage expectations well.”

• • • • •

Vanderbilt earns the top seed in match play

Vanderbilt, Oklahoma and North Carolina finished 72 holes of stroke play tied at 14-over, but it's the Commodores who will be the top seed in the match play portion of the championship based on a tiebreaker of the cumulative score of each team's fifth player.

A 4-over final round of 284 lifted Texas Tech into the eighth position at the expense of Arkansas, which dropped out of the top eight following a final round of 293 (+13).

Red-hot Texas improved its position by four spots following a final round of 3-under 277 gained the Longhorns the fourth seed. At 22-over at the 36-hole mark, Texas played its last two rounds at 5-under, 10 strokes better than any other of the teams which advanced to match play. The Longhorns will face its longtime Big 12 rival Oklahoma State in quarterfinal action on Tuesday morning.

North Carolina and defending NCAA champion Pepperdine, which were paired together for all four days of stroke play, will square off in a quarterfinal match up between the No. 3 and 6 seeds.

The teams which have advanced to the match play portion of the championship are all ranked in the top-eight of the Golfweek/Sagarin and Golfstat rankings.

• • • • •

Match Play Schedule

Tuesday's Quarterfinal Matches
No. 1. Vanderbilt vs. No. 8 Texas Tech
No. 2. Oklahoma vs. No. 7 Arizona State
No. 3. North Carolina vs. No. 6 Pepperdine
No. 4. Texas vs. No. 5 Oklahoma State

Tuesday, May 31

Championship Match
Wednesday, June 1

• • • • •

GOLF Channel Coverage

Tuesday, May 31
College Central: 11:30 a.m.-Noon; 4:30-5:00 p.m. ET
Live Coverage: Noon-2:30 p.m. ET; 5-9:00 p.m. ET
Golf Central: 9-10:00 p.m. ET
Encores: 10 p.m.-2 a.m.; 3-5 a.m. (Wednesday)

Wednesday, June 1
College Central: 4:30-5:00 p.m. ET
Live Coverage: 5-9:00 p.m. ET
Golf Central: 9-10 p.m. ET
Encores: 10:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m. ET

Results: NCAA Division I Championship
1ALGordon SargentMountain Brook, AL150070-68-68-74=280
T2TXParker CoodyPlano, TX120072-70-68-70=280
T2CARyan BurnettLafayette, CA120071-69-70-70=280
T2SpainEugenio Lopez-ChacarraSpain120073-70-65-72=280
T5CACameron SiskEl Cajon, CA90070-73-68-70=281

View full results for NCAA Division I Championship

ABOUT THE NCAA Division I Championship

30 teams and 6 individuals not on a qualifying team make up the field for the championship of NCAA Division I women's golf.

After 72 holes of stroke play, the individual champion is crowned, and the low 8 teams advance to match play to determine the team champion.

View Complete Tournament Information

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