ST ANDREWS, Scotland – The No. 4-ranked Vanderbilt men’s golf team made it a clean sweep at the inaugural St Andrews Links Collegiate, as the Commodores defeated No. 1-ranked North Carolina, 4 1/2 to 1 1/2, in medal match play to claim the team title.
The wind and rain at St Andrews’ legendary Old Course couldn’t slow down the Dores, as Vanderbilt claims its second-straight team title against the top-ranked Tar Heels. It is also the third team victory during the fall season for Vandy, as the Commodores won the Valero Texas Collegiate and the Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational.
“Our team wanted to finish the fall the right way,” said Vanderbilt men’s golf head coach Scott Limbaugh. “They take a lot of pride in finishing. I’m super proud of these guys and how they represent themselves, but to do it here at the Home of Golf is pretty unbelievable. I’m proud of the toughness our guys played with today in tough conditions. It’s nice to close out the fall season with a week like this. Our Vandy family showed up for us and we sure appreciate it. This was a week that we will all remember for a long time.”
Sophomore Wells Williams sank the winning shot for Vanderbilt, as the West Point, Mississippi, native put in a 13-foot birdie putt on Hole 18 to collect a 1-stroke win over North Carolina’s Austin Greaser. Williams ended his round of play on the Old Course at St Andrews carding even par 72.
“I had Austin (Cody) walk with me all week and he was affirming me as we were going along,” said Williams. “Going into that last putt, he told me that it was to either win or tie, so all I saw was opportunity. He assured me right before I hit that I was going to make it. I took a deep breath and let it go.”
Fellow sophomore Ben Loomis opened the scoring for the Commodores, as he shot 5-over 77 to pick up a 1-stroke victory over UNC’s Hampton Roberts. The two golfers were tied going into the final hole, where Loomis was able to sink a 22-foot putt for birdie to give Vanderbilt the first point of the medal match.
Junior Jackson Van Paris, who won St Andrews Links Collegiate’s individual title earlier this week, picked up a half point for the Commodores. Van Paris overcame a 5-stroke deficit through 11 holes to end his match with Dylan Menante in a tie, as both golfers carded 3-over 75.
Senior Cole Sherwood shot 3-under 69 to post the 3-stroke victory over Peter Fountain and set up Williams for the match-clinching shot. Graduate student William Moll matched Sherwood’s performance on the Old Course, as the All-American also shot 3-under 69 to pick up a 6-stroke victory over UNC’s Kenan Poole.
The Commodores now head into the winter break once they return stateside. Vanderbilt returns to action Feb. 18-20 for the Watersound Invitational at Sharks Tooth Golf Club in Panama City Beach, Florida.
For more information on the Vanderbilt men’s golf team, follow @VandyMGolf on Instagram and Twitter.