St. Andrews Links Collegiate: Vanderbilt and North Carolina tied after Round One
23 Oct 2023
by Justin Golba of AmateurGolf.com

see also: St. Andrews - Old Course, Jackson Van Paris Rankings

Kayla Smith has a three shot lead (UNC Athletics Photo)
Kayla Smith has a three shot lead (UNC Athletics Photo)

The sun was shining on the first day of the inaugural St Andrews Links Collegiate.

Family, friends, and alumni watched on as the game’s next generation teed off at the “home of golf.” The signature three-day event features some of the most historic universities in America.

Men’s and women’s golf teams from Georgetown University, the University of North Carolina, the University of Notre Dame, and Vanderbilt University played the first of two days of stroke play on the Jubilee Course.

On the men’s side, Vanderbilt’s Jackson Van Paris fired a 6-under 64 to take a two-shot lead over Georgetown’s Conner Willett and North Carolina’s Dylan Menante heading into Tuesday’s final round of individual stroke play.

“I made a lot of putts. The putt at No. 16 and long one on No. 10 kept things rolling nicely,” Van Paris said.

For the men’s team competition, Vanderbilt and North Carolina sit atop the leaderboard at 7 under par.

North Carolina’s Kayla Smith leads all women after a 3-under 69; the women’s championship is played at par 72. Smith made four birdies, including No. 18, bouncing back after a bogey at No. 15.

“I had the mindset to just hit greens and wherever I was, just two-putt from there. I’m looking for more of the same tomorrow, continuing to hit greens and hitting it as close as possible,” Smith said.

When asked about spending time at St Andrews, Smith said, “We’re all enjoying it. We have a lot of international players, so they can have their families out here, which is great. We’re having a lot of fun here.”

Smith holds a three-shot lead over Georgetown’s Morgan Smith, who carded an even par round of 72. North Carolina also holds a two-shot lead over Notre Dame in the team competition.

Dylan Menante, who is no stranger to St Andrews, sits just two back with his sights set on another title at the “home of golf.” Menante was part of the victorious U.S. Walker Cup team at St Andrews this past summer.

His round was highlighted by an eagle at the par-5 No. 12.

“I was off to a slow start; the putter was cold through the front nine … I made an eagle on 12 to get things going, and I made a couple more birdies coming in ... If I can keep the putter hot, I’ll be fine,” Menante said.

Notre Dame’s Nate Stevens made a hole-in-one on the fifth hole of Jubliee, joining Mimi Burton on the women’s side, who also made an ace on the same hole during Sunday’s practice round.

“This was my first hole-in-one; to have it here is incredible,” said Stevens. Stevens, along with teammate Rocco Salvitti, posted rounds of 3-under 67 to help Notre Dame remain four back of the lead in the team competition.

Notre Dame women sit in second place and look to lean on Lauren Beaudreau, who shot 1 over to sit in a tie for third place.

“I made some crucial par putts when I needed to and drove the ball pretty well, especially on the back nine so that really gave me a lot of good looks from the fairway,” Beaudreau said.

Georgetown’s Conner Willett shot the low round of the day for the Hoyas, a 4-under 66. “I hit the ball well today, and it’s special to be playing here. I putted well, but the conditions were tough, so I’m pleased with how I scored,” Willett said.

The Georgetown men are currently fourth, just eight shots off the lead. A quick swing and the Hoyas are right back in this competition. The women’s side was led by Morgan Smith, who closed out the day with an even par round of 72.

Teammates Georgia Ruffolo and Megan Gormley sit in T-12, and 19th place, respectively. Georgetown and Vanderbilt women are tied at 16 over par and look to build on their Day 1 performance.

Vanderbilt’s Ava Merrill and Virginie Ding both posted rounds of 1 over par and currently sit in a tie for third place in the individual stroke play competition.

The Commodores have plenty of talent to turn things around on Tuesday. Van Paris said earlier, “Having the women here is a treat. We don’t get to travel with our women’s program too often … it’s great to have them here with us at St Andrews.”

Round 2 of the 2023 St Andrew Links Collegiate will tee off at 9:30 a.m. BST at the Jubilee Course. The second round is the final round of individual stroke play.


Started in 2023, this three-day event will feature men’s and women’s golf teams from four U.S. universities with two days of stroke play on the Jubilee Course followed by a day of medal match play on the Old Course at St. Andrews.

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