College / Men

Vanderbilt rallies to win Mason Rudolph title; Florida’s Sam Horsfield medals

Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh, left, talks with Patrick Martin during the SunTrust Gator Invitational.
Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh, left, talks with Patrick Martin during the SunTrust Gator Invitational. (Tracy Wilcox)

Just when it looked like Florida was going to sweep the titles at Vanderbilt’s home event, the Mason Rudolph Championship, the host Commodores staged a late comeback to capture the team victory Sunday at the Vanderbilt Legends Club’s South Course.

The Gators led by two shots as the teams played their final three holes. But while Florida played Nos. 16-18 in 2 over, Vanderbilt, which held the 36-hole lead by two three shots, played the closing stretch in 1 under to finish at 5-under 847 and edge the Gators by a shot.

“That was a lot of fun out there today,” Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh said in a release. “I am so pleased with the competitive character the guys showed coming down the stretch. We knew going into the day that it would be tough and we would be pushed. Florida really played great, but we were one shot better this week.”

Junior Matthias Schwab made one of three birdies for Vanderbilt on the closing hole. Freshmen Will Gordon and Patrick Martin, who have been huge for the Commodores all season, made the other two. Schwab finished third, his best finish since a T-1 at the season-opening Carmel Cup. Gordon and Martin finished T-4 and T-10, respectively. Sophomore Theo Humphrey was T-7 and individual Carson Jacobs was T-4 after not finishing better than 44th in four previous starts this season.

Vanderbilt has now won three Mason Rudolph titles in four years, and is on a three-tournament winning streak this spring. The Commodores have climbed to fifth in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings and figure to move up when the rankings are updated.

“We took another good step this week and the good thing is no one is satisfied,” Limbaugh said. “Our focus will be on getting better before we enter the next phase of our season.”

Also notching a third victory this spring is Florida freshman Sam Horsfield, Golfweek‘s fourth-ranked player. Horsfield, who also won the Sea Best Invitational and Southern Highlands Collegiate this spring, shot 7-under 205, which was capped by a 5-under 66, to beat teammate Gordon Neale by two shots.

“The year Sam is putting together is incredible,” Florida head coach J.C. Deacon said in a release. “To shoot 66 in the final round today and play like he did was amazing. It was another big brick in the foundation that he’s building. I’m really happy for him.”

Horsfield now has seven finishes of T-4 or better this season. Neale, also a freshman, was making just his third start of the season, second in the lineup, after battling injuries for much of the past year. Before Sunday, Neale hasn’t finished better than T-19 in college.

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