FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 23rd, 2023
ST ANDREWS LINKS COLLEGIATE DAY 1 RECAP – VANDERBILT AND NORTH CAROLINA SIT ATOP THE LEADERBOARD
ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND – The sun was shining on the first day of the inaugural St Andrews Links Collegiate. Family, friends and alumni watched on as the game’s next generation teed off at the “home of golf.” The signature three-day event features some of the most historic universities in America. Men’s and women’s golf teams from Georgetown University, the University of North Carolina, the University of Notre Dame and Vanderbilt University played the first of two days of stroke play on the Jubilee Course.
On the men’s side, Vanderbilt’s Jackson Van Paris fired a 6-under 64 to take a two-shot lead over Georgetown’s Conner Willett and North Carolina’s Dylan Menante heading into Tuesday’s final round of individual stroke play. “I made a lot of putts. The putt at 16 and long one on 10 kept things rolling nicely,” Van Paris said. For the men’s team competition, Vanderbilt and North Carolina sit atop the leaderboard at 7 under par.
North Carolina’s Kayla Smith leads all women after a 3-under 69; the women’s championship is played at par 72. Smith made four birdies, including the 18th, bouncing back after a bogey at 15. “I had the mindset to just hit greens and wherever I was, just two-putt from there. I’m looking for more of the same tomorrow, continuing to hit greens and hitting it as close as possible,” Smith said. When asked about spending time at St Andrews, Smith said, “We’re all enjoying it. We have a lot of international players, so they can have their families out here, which is great. We’re having a lot of fun here.” Smith holds a three-shot lead over Georgetown’s Morgan Smith, who carded an even par round of 72. North Carolina also holds a two-shot lead over Notre Dame in the team competition.
Dylan Menante, who is no stranger to St Andrews, sits just two back with his sights set on another title at the “home of golf.” Menante was part of the victorious U.S. Walker Cup team at St Andrews this past summer. His round was highlighted by an eagle at the par-5 12th. “I was off to a slow start; the putter was cold through the front nine … I made an eagle on 12 to get things going and I made a couple more birdies coming in … If I can keep the putter hot, I’ll be fine,” Menante said.
Notre Dame’s Nate Stevens made a hole-in-one on the fifth hole of Jubliee, joining Mimi Burton on the women’s side, who also made an ace on the same hole during Sunday’s practice round. “This was my first hole-in-one; to have it here is incredible,” said Stevens. Stevens, along with teammate Rocco Salvitti, posted rounds of 3-under 67 to help Notre Dame remain four back of the lead in the team competition. Notre Dame women sit in second place and look to lean on Lauren Beaudreau, who shot 1 over to sit in a tie for third place. “I made some crucial par putts when I needed to and drove the ball pretty well, especially on the back nine so that really gave me a lot of good looks from the fairway,” Beaudreau said.
Georgetown’s Conner Willett shot the low round of the day for the Hoyas, a 4-under 66. “I hit the ball well today and it’s special to be playing here. I putted well but the conditions were tough, so I’m pleased with how I scored,” Willett said. The Georgetown men are currently fourth, just eight shots off the lead. A quick swing and the Hoyas are right back in this competition. The women’s side was led by Morgan Smith who closed out the day with an even par round of 72. Teammates Georgia Ruffolo and Megan Gormley sit in T-12, and 19th place respectively. Georgetown and Vanderbilt women are tied at 16 over par and look to build on their Day 1 performance.
Vanderbilt’s Ava Merrill and Virginie Ding both posted rounds of 1 over par and currently sit in a tie for third place in the individual stroke play competition. The Commodores have plenty of talent to turn things around on Tuesday. Van Paris said earlier, “Having the women here is a treat. We don’t get to travel with our women’s program too often … it’s great to have them here with us at St Andrews.”
Round 2 of the 2023 St Andrew Links Collegiate will tee off at 9:30 a.m. BST at the Jubilee Course. The second round is the final round of individual stroke play.
About St Andrews Links Trust
St Andrews Links Trust is responsible for the management and maintenance of the seven Links courses at St Andrews, including the world-famous Old Course, host of The Open Championship a record 30 times.
St Andrews Links Trust manages a number of additional facilities including three clubhouses, a golf academy and five shops. More than 250,000 rounds are played over the seven courses attracting visitors from around the world to follow in the footsteps of the world’s greatest golfers and become a part of golf’s rich history.
About HNS Sports Group
HNS Sports Group is well-positioned to assist companies that find value in the golf industry and build and execute comprehensive golf branding or sponsorship strategies. Effectively understanding the golf marketplace today is a significant challenge, the HNS Sports Group team possesses over 125 years of collective experience that is applied to lead companies in their efforts to maximize value from golf sponsorship and event participation.
ABOUT NBC SPORTS’ COLLEGE GOLF PLATFORM
GOLF Channel is the U.S. television home for college golf, currently providing live coverage of ten college golf championships. GOLF Channel deploys its comprehensive portfolio of news, digital and social media coverage year-round in covering collegiate golf, including season preview shows, signing day specials, regional and national qualifying coverage and exclusive annual coverage for the Haskins and ANNIKA Awards Presented by Stifel.
Following its announcement in 2013 as the exclusive television provider of the NCAA Golf Championships, GOLF Channel has provided live coverage of the men’s NCAA Championships since 2014 and the women’s NCAA Championships since 2015, which are hosted at the same venue in consecutive weeks at Omni La Costa in Carlsbad, Calif. GOLF Channel also annually televises the three-day East Lake Cup at historic East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga. (Atlanta Athletic Club in 2023); the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate at Long Cove Club in Hilton Head, S.C.; Western Intercollegiate, one of the longest-running college tournaments in the U.S. taking place at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif.; the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship; the Blessings Collegiate Invitational presented by Tyson Foods in Fayetteville, Ark.; the Jackson T. Stephens Cup; the Southwest Airlines Showcase at Cedar Crest at Cedar Crest in Dallas, Texas and the inaugural St Andrews Links Collegiate, which is held at the historic Jubliee and Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland.