After a successful 36 holes of golf on Friday and Saturday at the Carmel Cup in Pebble Beach, Calif., the men’s golf team qualified for the championship. In the end, the Commodores couldn’t catch the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels in the final matches, losing 4.5-1.5. At the end of the weekend, they took home second place.
UNLV and Vanderbilt qualified for the finals after securing the top two spots in stroke play Friday and Saturday. UNLV posted 363 on Friday and 365 on Saturday for a total of 728, and Vanderbilt had a 363 and a 367 for a combined 730. Texas Tech and Arizona could not keep pace, falling out of the championship on Saturday. Texas Tech took third place in the consolation matches Sunday.
The first two days provided some great positives for the Commodore golfers. After Friday, sophomore John Voetsch led the field with a score of 69, and on Saturday, freshman Matthias Schwab ascended to the top of the leaderboard with a 141 (73-68).
“He has shown us many great things in his short time here,” said senior Charlie Ewing, who was impressed with the poise Schwab displayed on the course. Schwab birdied three of the last four holes to be the stroke medalist for the first two days. “He thinks his way around a golf course so well,” Ewing said, “and that allows him to play stress-free golf.”
Other top-finishing Commodores from the stroke-play section included junior Hunter Stewart tied for third place with a 145 (71-74), and Voetsch tied for eighth with a 146 (69-77). Ewing and junior Ben Fogler also placed in the top 15 of stroke play.
Even with great stroke play, Vanderbilt could not get it going against UNLV. The Commodores earned their points in a 6 and 5 victory from Ewing and a halved match from Fogler. Aside from Ewing’s victory, the Commodores failed to take another match from the Runnin’ Rebels. The Sunday matches were close, with three of the four Vanderbilt losses coming on the 17th or 18th hole.
“They just outplayed us Sunday,” Ewing said. “They made the big shots — big putts that you have to make to win golf tournaments.”
Ewing looks toward the future with optimism, hoping to learn from the loss.
“We had an opportunity to win against a great team late in the day,” he said. “Moving forward, we need to understand what to do differently to finish on top. We had six guys fight hard for 54 holes this week, and there are always positives to take from that.”