Vanderbilt Comes From Behind to Win Mason Rudolph Championship
Three Commodores Finish in the Top 5 Led by Individual
Champion Courtney Wood
FRANKLIN, Tenn. The Vanderbilt Commodore golf team
won its most prestigious tournament title ever today at the
Mason Rudolph Championship at Legends Club of Tennessee (Par
72, 6276 yardage) and Brentwood junior Courtney Wood claimed
the individual title for the Commodores with a two-under-par
The Commodores entered todays round four shots behind
2002 NCAA Preview champion Arizona who owned a two-round total
of 583. VU started the day with a 587.
We started out the day knowing that we needed to play
our golf, Vanderbilt Head Coach Martha Freitag said.
If we took care of our business, we knew we would be
The Commodores shot rounds of 302-285-291 on the way to
the championship. The Commodores put together a solid second
round and finished the first day (two rounds) in second place
with a score of 11-over-par 587. After a first-round round
of 302 left them in third place, the Commodores took flight
in the second round with a 285 - the lowest round for any
team - and narrowed Arizonas lead to four shots.
Three Commodores finished in the Top 5, including individual
champion Courtney Wood who started the final round four shots
out of the lead. Wood shot a 69 in the final round to total
a 214 (77-68-69, -2) and win the title by two shots. Wood
finished the first day with a 77 and 23rd place finish. She
followed that with a tournament best round of 68 to move up
to second place entering the final round.
We just werent ready for the first round,
Wood said. I got off to a bad start and then played
well after the second hole and then faded again. This course
played tough with the wind coming in the opposite direction.
We didnt adjust quickly to the cool temperature.
Arizonas Erica Blasberg, who began the day in first
place, shot a 75 in the final round to finish in sole possession
of second place with a 216 (72-69-75, E).
Vanderbilt freshman May Wood totaled 221 (76-72-73, +5) for
a fourth place finish and Sarah Jacobs shot a 222 (73-75-74,
+6) for a tie in fifth place. Nicki Cutler finished in 13th
place (79-70-77=226, +10), followed by Joni Gossett in 22nd
place (76-78-75=229, +13).
Courtney (Wood) just played fantastic and Sarah (Jacobs)
was so consistent all three rounds, Freitag added. May
(Wood) birdied two of the last four holes, Joni (Gossett)
shot a 75 today and Nicki (Cutler) shot a 70 yesterday
It took the entire team to win this tournament.
The Mason Rudolph Championship Tournament 14-team field
boasted five teams ranked in the Golfweek Top 25 Poll.
I want to win against great teams, Freitag said.
If you want to win championships, you have to learn
how to win against the best teams in the country and our schedule
provides that for us.
The last tournament title for Vanderbilt was during the
1995-96 season when the Commodores finished first in a 19-team
field at the College of Charleston Invitational
The Commodores return to action Oct. 18-20 at the Stanford-Pepsi
Womens Intercollegiate in Palo Alto, Calif.
Shoots Lowest Round of the Day with a 285 in the Second Round;
Four Shots Behind Leader Arizona
Commodores Place Four Players in the Top 10
FRANKLIN, Tenn. — The Vanderbilt women's golf team put together
a solid second round at the Mason Rudolph Championship and
finished the first day (two rounds) in second place with a
score of 11-over-par 587. The Championship is being played
at par-72, 6,276-yard, Legends Club of Tennessee.
Arizona, the 2002 NCAA Fall Preview Champion, is in first
place with a total of 583 (+7) after shooting rounds of 296
and 287. Tennessee is in third place with a 605 (298-307,
+29), followed by defending champion Ohio State with a 606
(303-303, +30), and Furman with a 610 (309-301, +34). North
Carolina State and Tulane are tied for sixth place (617),
followed by Mississippi (619), North Carolina-Wilmington (625),
Missouri (627), Northwestern (629), Oregon State (633), Stanford
(636) and LSU (647).
Erica Blasberg of Arizona is the individual leader shooting
rounds of 72 and 69 for a 141 total. She is the only golfer
to shoot below par for the day (-3).
After a first-round round of 302 left them in third place,
the Commodores took flight in the second round with a 285
- the lowest round for any team - and narrowed Arizona's lead
to four shots.
"We played a lot more aggressive in the afternoon round,"
Head Coach Martha Freitag said. "We played tight and tentative
in the morning, but played with a little more fight and aggressiveness
in the second round."
Vanderbilt junior Courtney Wood fired a second-round, four-under
par 68 - the best round of the day - to go along with her
first round 77 for a 145 total (+1) and sole possesion of
second place, four shots out of the lead. Other top finishers
for the Commodores included junior Sarah Jacobs (73-75=148,
+4) and freshman May Wood (76-72=148, +4) in a tie for seventh
position; senior Nicki Cutler (79-70=149, +5) in 10th place,
and sophomore Joni Gossett (76-78=154, +10) in a tie at the
30th position. Sophomore Veronica Yatco competed +as an individual
and is in 52nd place (84-76=160), while sophomore Kim Kindig
withdrew in the first round due to illness.
"We had tremendous individual performances today," Freitag
said. "Courtney (Wood) and Nicki (Cutler) had great second
rounds. May (Wood) and Sarah (Jacobs) both had solid rounds
also and Joni's (Gossett) contribution this morning was huge
- it kept us four shots out of the lead."
The final round begins at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday with a shotgun
start. The Commodores will be looking for their first championship
of the season.
"Arizona is a good golf team," Freitag added. "We will have
to play like we did this afternoon. We must stick to our game
plan - we know how to play this golf course and we know we
have to go out and execute. I like our position. I like that
we are going to be the aggressors."