The Women’s Golf Team has had their best season in years, claiming five victories, four of them this Spring. They are ranked the No. 4 team in the NCAA according to Golfstat, giving them the highest ranking of any SEC team.
The Commodores’ ranking is based on a four factor system: head-to-head competition, common opponents, second level opponents, and a combination of adjusted average score (determined by course difficulty), average drop score, and strength of schedule.
It is probably the most comprehensive ranking in golf, and when lined up against the nation, the Commodores are 254/257 teams. Against Top25 teams, they are 16/18. Their average scoring is 71.89, for fifth in the NCAA, .16 off the No. 1 Trojans of USCw.
Compared to the rest of the SEC, the ‘Dores are the cream of the crop. Arkansas is No. 6, UF No. 12, and Auburn is No. 14. That’s it.
The only knock on Vanderbilt is their victories have not all come against strong fields. However, Head Coach Greg Allen built the schedule to include as many match play events as he could.
The SECs, like the NCAAs, are combined stroke and match play events. There are three rounds of stroke play to determine seeding followed by three rounds of head to head match play for the team championship.
While match play does not always reward the team or individual with the lowest aggregate score, it does reward consistency. If the ‘Dores can go low in the first three rounds, which their scoring average predicts, and then move into match play with experience and confidence, they will have a great shot at claiming the 2019 SEC Championships.
They will be led by Louise Yu, Morgan Baxendale, Courtney Zeng, Auston Kim, and Abbey Carlson.
Commodores open play Wednesday in @SEC Championships.— Vanderbilt Women's Golf (@VandyWGolf) April 16, 2019
♀️9:40 a.m. - Louise Yu
♀️9:50 a.m. - Morgan Baxendale
♀️10 a.m. - Courtney Zeng
♀️10:10 a.m. - Auston Kim
♀️10:20 a.m. - Abbey Carlson
Carlson, the highest ranked player on the team is No. 36 in the NCAA with a scoring average of 71.64. Zeng and Kim are No. 51 & 52, respectively. Zeng has an average of 72.27 and Kim of 71.96. Although, Kim has no head-to-head victories against NCAA Top25 players.
Most top rated individuals come out of the ACC or conferences out West, but Auburn has the No. 4 ranked player in Julie McCarthy. She’s 17-3 against Top25 players and scores at 71.35 per round. Arkansas has two players ranked ahead of Carlson with ANWA finalist No. 15 Maria Fassi and No. 28 Kaylee Benson.
The tournament will played at Greystone Golf and Country Club on the Legacy Course. It’s a Rees Jones design and is situated in the natural undulations of the Appalachian foothills in Birmingham, AL. There are several water features, from lakes to streams. Jones is in the legacy of his father family. They like to build penal, demanding courses with a premium on accuracy. Some call it target golf. Others hate that kind of golf because it doesn’t allow for a variety of shots, especially recover.