ORLANDO, Fla. – The Vanderbilt women’s golf team is ranked No. 1 nationally by a prominent golf magazine based on two impressive early-season performances.
Golfweek has Vanderbilt ranked No. 1 in its latest poll updated September 24. Joining the Commodores in the Top 10 are No. 2 Florida, No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 UCLA, No. 5 Virginia, No. 6 Southern California, No. 7 Arizona State, No. 8. Campbell, No. 9 Texas and No. 10 Arkansas.
The Commodores have been stellar early in the fall campaign, capturing the Mason Rudolph Championship last week in Franklin, Tenn., and earning a strong runner-up finish at the Powerade Cougar Classic Sept. 10 near Charleston, S.C.
Head coach Greg Allen is pleased with Golfweek’s early-season recognition, but said his Commodores need to continue to show improvement with each tournament.
“I’m extremely happy our girls are getting some recognition because we’ve played some solid golf in the first two tournaments,” Allen said. “Our overall team chemistry has been excellent and I think that’s had a very positive impact.
“We just need to continue putting in the practice time and work to improve in every phase of the game as we prepare for our next tournament,” Allen added.
The Commodores are coming off an impressive performance last weekend at the rain-shortened Mason Rudolph Championship where they captured team honors by a 12-stroke margin at the Vanderbilt Legends North Course. It marked Vanderbilt’s third victory ever in the Mason Rudolph and first since 2014.
Junior Abbey Carlson put together back-to-back rounds of 6-under par 66 to claim Mason Rudolph medalist honors by five strokes. The performance marked Carlson’s lowest 36-hole total as a Commodore.
The Mason Rudolph field featured several ranked teams, including runner-up Arizona State, Wake Forest, Clemson and Auburn.
Vanderbilt opened the season with a second-place finish at the Cougar Classic, which was also shortened to 36 holes due to the approach of Hurricane Florence on the South Carolina coast. The season-opening tournament attracted 19 teams, including seven-ranked squads.
The Commodores played superb golf at the Cougar Classic, finishing with a school-record final-day total of 269. Senior Courtney Zeng sparked the Vanderbilt performance, putting together rounds of 65 and 69 to post a 10-under par total of 134.
The Commodores will return to competition Oct. 12-14 at the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational in Chapel Hill, N.C.