Women's Golf Finishes Tied for Second in the NCAA East Regional
Commodores Earn Second Consecutive Berth in the NCAA Tournament
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Vanderbilt University women's
golf team earned its second consecutive NCAA Championship
appearance Saturday when it closed out the NCAA Division I
Women's East Regional with a strong finish that left it in
a tie for second place.
The Commodores' final round total of 282 (2-under) was the
third best single round by any team during the three-day event
at the 6,116-yard, par-71 Salem Glen Country Club. Juniors
Courtney Wood and Sarah Jacobs and senior Nicki Cutler all
broke par for the final round during which VU outperformed
regional champion and top-ranked Duke University. Wood and
Jacobs both finished in the top 10 in the individual standings.
Vanderbilt and the University of Georgia each finished 13-over
par, eight shots behind Duke and in a tie for runner-up honors.
The Commodores started the round alone in second place and
gained a shot on Duke. Auburn University was fourth, two shots
back, and the University of Arizona was fifth.
"We were paired with the number-one ranked team,"
coach Martha Freitag said. "We may not have beat them
in the tournament but we didn't flinch and we beat them when
we were head-to-head with them. That gives us a lot of confidence
going into the NCAA Tournament next week."
Wood made three birdies and a bogey on her way to a 69, her
second straight round under par. She finished the event tied
Jacobs and Cutler each shot 70. Jacobs made consecutive birdies
on 12 and 13 as she went 2-under on the back nine. Cutler
gave back a pair of early birdies with bogies on 13 and 15,
but answered with a birdie on 16. Jacobs finished alone in
10th, and Cutler was tied for 18th. Freshman May Wood completed
the scoring for the Commodores with a 73 that left her tied
for 26th. VU's fifth competitor, sophomore Joni Gossett, shot
"We've played great all spring but we're putting it
together right now, and I couldn't be more proud," Freitag
added. "We've shown that we can play with the best teams
in the country and we're one of them."
Vanderbilt Moves Into Second Place at NCAA East Regionals
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Vanderbilt University women's
golf team moved up both the team and individual leader boards
Friday in the second round of the NCAA Division I Women's
East Regional at Salem Glen Country Club. The Commodores shot
a 288 (4-over), the fourth best round of the day, and moved
into second place, nine shots behind Duke University.
VU started the round in fourth but made a combined eight
birdies, had three players shoot par or better and improved
on its first-round score by seven strokes as it surged in
front of both Florida State University and the University
of Georgia. The top eight teams will advance to the NCAA Championship.
"We're starting to get more confidence with the golf
course," coach Martha Freitag said. "It was tougher
conditions (Friday) — it was a little windy. We're getting
our game faces on. ... This team is ready to let their sticks
do the talking."
Freshman May Wood led the charge with three birdies and made
just one bogey for a 2-under 69, which moved her into a tie
for 22nd place, up from a tie for 71st at the start of play.
She made all of her birdies in her first 12 holes and then
finished with six straight pars.
Junior Courtney Wood moved into the top 10 with a 1-under
71. She made birdies at Nos. 9 and 10, her last and first
holes of the round, respectively, and just one bogey in between.
She was tied for seventh at the end of the day.
Junior Sarah Jacobs shot an even par 71, which included two
birdies, and rose from a tie for 24th to a tie for 11th in
the individual standings.
Nicki Cutler (7-over, 78) and sophmore Joni Gossett (11-over,
82) rounded out the scoring for the Commodores.
"We're going to stick to our game plan and we know we
can play even better," Freitag said. "We want to
have a strong tournament. It gets you better pairings (at
the NCAA Tournament) and gives you momentum anytime you're
in contention and have a chance to win — and that's
what we want to do."
Vanderbilt's players will be in the final groups of the morning
for Saturday's final round. They will be paired with players
from Duke,the number-one team in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance
Rating, and third-place Georgia and will begin play between
12:30 and 1:10 p.m. (EDT).
"We've been waiting all year to get paired with Duke,"
Freitag said. "We need that experience."
Women's Golf Fourth After First Round at NCAA Regional
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Senior Nicki Cutler paced a strong
effort and placed the Vanderbilt University women's golf team
squarely in contention for the team title Thursday at the
NCAA Division I Women's East Regional.
Vanderbilt, ranked ninth in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance
Ratings, compiled a 295 (11-over) in the opening round at
the 6,116-yard, par-71 Salem Glen Country Club course. It
was the fourth time this season the Commodores shot better
than 300 in the opening round and put them in fourth place,
seven strokes behind top-ranked Duke, the leader. Previous
events in which they got off to such a good start included
the Bryan National Collegiate Tournament and the NCAA Fall
Preview, where they finished second and third, respectively.
Florida State (6-over) is second, and the University of
Georgia is third (10-over). Auburn University is fifth (14-over).
The top eight teams will advance to the NCAA Championship.
"It's nice to start in the thick of things instead
of digging out of a hole," coach Martha Freitag said.
"We did a good job and had a pretty solid start, the
kind I knew we were capable of."
Cutler, VU's only senior, had three birdies and three bogies
on the way to an even par 71, her best score in the past 21
rounds and tied for her best opening round of the season.
It put her in a tie for sixth place, three shots off the lead.
Junior Courtney Wood opened with a birdie then made 14 pars
and three bogies and finished 2-over (73), which put her in
a large group tied for 14th. Junior Sarah Jacobs (3-over,74),
sophomore Joni Gossett (6-over, 77) and freshman May Wood
(8-over,79) rounded out the lineup. May Wood, the only Commodore
who was not on last year's team that qualified for the NCAA
Championship, was 1-over through nine holes but struggled
to the finish.
"Nicki has a lot of experience in regional play and
it showed," Freitag said. "May got off to a good
start but had some bad swings (coming in). Now that she has
a round under her belt, she'll have a better sense of strategy."