Men's fall countdown: No. 6 Vanderbilt
Monday, September 1, 2014
Next up on our men's 2014 fall countdown, No. 6 Vanderbilt:
Editor's note: The rankings are those of our college expert, Lance Ringler, as he looked ahead to the collegiate preseason. The official Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings won't be available until a couple of weeks into the fall season. Our staff of Andy Zunz, Cassie Stein and Brentley Romine are writing the individual profiles of the teams.
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Preseason rank: 6
Final 2013-14 Golfweek/Sagarin ranking: 14
2013-14 in review: The Commodores continued to improve in Year two under head coach Scott Limbaugh, winning twice, finishing runner-up three times and placing third at the NCAA San Antonio Regional to earn the program’s first NCAA Championship berth since 2007. Vanderbilt, which competed without Matthias Schwab (back injury) for much of the spring, then finished 16th at Prairie Dunes.
Notable departures: Charlie Ewing
Key returnees: Seniors Hunter Stewart, Jordan Janico and Ben Fogler, sophomore Matthias Schwab, junior Carson Jacobs
Newcomers of note: freshman Theo Humphrey
Circled on the fall calendar: Nike's Swoosh Invitational, Oct. 6-7, Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas
Fall outlook: Vanderbilt returns all but one starter from last year’s squad that competed at Prairie Dunes, including Stewart, considered by many as one of the best players in the country. Stewart missed the cut by a shot at this summer’s U.S. Open, placed second at the Players Amateur and made match play at the Western Amateur. He’s the unquestioned leader of a deep Commodores team that also includes Janico, Fogler and Jacobs, all of whom made Vanderbilt’s NCAA Championship lineup. Freshman Theo Humphrey figures to make an immediate impact and could quickly become one of Limbaugh’s best players, and junior Zack Jaworski played in last year’s SEC Championship. Also, don’t forget about sophomore Matthias Schwab, who is still recovering from a stress fracture in his lower back. He is doing some short-game work now, but could be out for the entire fall.
Coach's perspective: “I'm really excited about this year. . . . We have the parts to be a championship program. . . . We have some depth and it will be our job (this fall) to figure out which players end up being the best five.” – Limbaugh