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ORLANDO, Fla. – After runner-up finishes at the Carmel Cup and the Dick’s Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup, Vanderbilt stumbled at the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational. An eighth-place finish Oct. 7 in one of the best fields of the fall season left the Commodores, ranked No. 17 by Golfweek, disappointed and wanting revenge.
“We didn’t play our best last time out at Colonial, so we got home and we just talked about having one more event this fall, and that we just need to focus on getting better at the simple things and cleaning things up,” head coach Scott Limbaugh said.
As junior Carson Jacobs added, “Our main thing coming into this week was to just have fun. We didn’t play as well as we would have liked last time out and now we have a good plan and want to win this tournament.”
During the second round of the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational on Monday, the Commodores showed they were ready to break through with a victory. Vanderbilt posted the best team score of the day, a 9-under 279 that gave the team a two-shot lead on Florida State entering the final round at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club.
Jacobs posted a flawless 7-under 65, which gave Vanderbilt an advantage as the field averaged nearly two shots higher in Round 2 than in Round 1. He made eight consecutive pars on Lake Nona’s front nine before draining an eagle putt from the front of the green at the par-4 ninth. Jacobs called it a 90-footer.
Jacobs, No. 32 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, has seen adversity at Lake Nona, too. He began his fourth and final college tournament of the fall on Sunday with a triple bogey. He played the next 35 holes without a bogey, and also counted 12 birdies plus the eagle.
“It was good to come back from that and continue the momentum from that today,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs leads a trio of Texas Tech players, including Hannes Ronneblad (69), Clement Sordet (69) and Guillermo Pereira (73), by three shots. He had the second-round lead at the Dick’s Collegiate Challenge Cup at the end of September before tying for fourth.
“When you’re in contention, you learn a lot about yourself and your game,” Jacobs said. “It’s hard to say what one thing I learned from last time, but it may have to do with those feelings you have when you’re out there and how to handle that.
“But to be honest, I don’t even know where I stand as an individual. All I know is that our team has the lead and that’s all that matters to me.”