Vanderbilt Men's Golfers Hit the Links Again 2/7/03
taking time off from competitive action for the better part
of the past three months, the Vanderbilt men’s golf
team begins its run to the SEC and NCAA Championship this
weekend in Florida.
The Commodores kick off the spring season Saturday and
Sunday at the 26th Annual Gator Invitational in Gainesville,
Fla. The tournament will be played at The University of
Florida Golf Course (Par 72, 6,701 yards).
Vanderbilt is coming off its most successful semester of
golf in school history. VU posted three Top-5 finishes as
a team and never finished lower than seventh in the five
fall tournaments. The Commodores also had the scores to
back up their finishes as they were below par as a team
in three of the five events.
The highlight of the fall slate was the second annual Mason
Rudolph Championships where Vanderbilt won its home tournament.
The Commodores finished first with a school-record 29-under-par
three-round score of 811. VU fired rounds of 271, 272 and
268. The previous best team round in school history was
a 275 and the Dores bettered that number in all three rounds.
Another remarkable statistic about the tournament was the
fact that the Commodores shot the low round in all three
rounds, with a 275 being the next closest. As you would
guess, the individual stats are just as noteworthy. Of the
12 rounds that counted for the Commodores, 11 were under
par and in the 60s. Vanderbilt had scoring individuals finish
in first, third, fourth and seventh places.
Senior Brandt Snedeker also got the monkey off his back,
claiming his first collegiate tournament championship with
a 12-under-par score of 198. However, success didn’t
stop there for Snedeker because he would wind up winning
the next two tournaments to claim medalist honors in three
straight events. In addition to the Mason Rudolph Championships,
the Nashville native took top honors at the Gary Koch Intercollegiate
and the Tennessee Tournament of Champions.
Snedeker heads into the spring with a team-best 68.79 stroke
average. He carded 10 rounds in the 60s, including a stretch
of eight consecutive rounds. He also was able to record
below-par rounds in all but one of his 14 rounds.
But Snedeker was not the only Commodore to have a strong
start to this season and that consistency across the board
is what made the fall so successful. The other four regular
players for Vanderbilt finished the fall less than two strokes
Sophomore Lance Goodson was second on the team with 72.93
stroke average, while playing in all 14 of the team’s
rounds. Goodson’s best finish was a tie for seventh
at the Mason Rudolph Championship and his best score was
two-under-par, which he carded at both the Mason Rudolph
Championship and the Tennessee Tournament of Champions.
Next in VU’s lineup was senior Craig Dunlap, played
in all 14 rounds for Vanderbilt and posted a 73.00 stroke
average. He finished third at the Mason Rudolph Championship
with an eight-under-par score of 202.
Sophomore Mark Donnell also finished the fall with a 73.00
stroke average, but in just 11 rounds. Donnell missed the
first trip of the season, but came back strong with a tie
for fourth with a seven-under-par 203 at the Mason Rudolph
Sophomore Ben McClung rounds out Vanderbilt’s “starting
five.” McClung recorded a 74.79 stroke average in
14 rounds. His best performance of the fall came at the
Mason Rudolph Championship, where he finished tied for 21st
with a three-over-par 213.
Junior Ken Lewis made the first trip of the year to the
Kiawah Island Intercollegiate and also competed at the Mason
Rudolph Championship. He finished his six rounds with a
76.00 stroke average. Senior Jason Dallas and sophomore
Jack Skirkanich each participated in the Mason Rudolph Championship.
Teams Competing at Gator Invitational
• Augusta State
• College of Charleston
• Florida State
• Georgia Southern
• Georgia State
• North Florida
• Ohio State
• South Florida