It is fitting that the East Lake Cup championship match between the two top teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings of the country would be played down to the final hole.
The title match between Vanderbilt’s top-ranked Vanderbilt University and No. 2 Arizona State tied at 2-2. William Moll, the Commodores’ top-ranked Vanderbilt and No.
Both players missed errant tee shots but managed to avoid trouble and set up birdie putsts on the last hole. Moll rolled in a 4-footer after Ballester’s 15 footer was missed.
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Moll was just 4 down after 10 holes, and this win was Moll’s comeback victory.
Moll said, “It’s an enormous confidence booster.” “I was nervous about that putt, but I was able knock it in and it feels amazing for the team,” Moll said.
Matthew Riedel scored the first point for the Commodores. He won a lopsided victory over Ryggs Johnston (7 and 6).
Sun Devil freshman Luke Potter made the most thrilling match of the championship by hitting a 15-foot left-to-right, breaking putt on the par-5 hole 18. This resulted in a birdie for Potter and a win over Cole Sherwood. After five holes, Potter held a lead of 4-up but Sherwood tied the match by scoring a birdie at the par-4 12th hole.
Potter bent but didn’t break as he regained the lead with a birdie on the 13th and then again with a par on the par-3 15th. Sherwood won the match with a birdie 16; after they had halved 17th with par, they moved to 18 with all four players. Potter prevailed with a birdie the last.
Vanderbilt was back in the lead after Reid Davenport recovered from a deficit of two holes to defeat Michael Mjaaseth 2 and 1.
After ASU’s Preston Summerhays beat East Lake Cup gold medalist Gordon Sargent (3 and 1), in the final pairing to even out the match, all eyes turned towards Moll who was making his short birdie putt.
The ball found its way back into the hole and the Dores won their second East Lake Cup title, the first since 2017.
Scott Limbaugh, Vanderbilt’s head coach, said that “grit” is the word that comes to his mind. “I’m extremely proud of the boys fighting all day, seeing the holes a few of them were in and how they were still able to find a way out was an amazing way to end the fall seasons.”
After winning at The Frederica Cup, and SEC Preview, this is Vanderbilt’s third fall team title. The winter break for the nation’s highest-ranked team will be even more enjoyable after they were defeated in the finals by Tennessee in the SEC Match Play.
Limbaugh stated, “We are certainly excited to end the fall in this manner, but also to discover if we can improve.” “We will get some rest, then we’ll work on the areas that we need to improve in order to be the best team possible,” Limbaugh said.
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