NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Playing against the No. 1 team did not seem to matter to the Commodores on Saturday at the Mason Rudolph Championship, as Vanderbilt stormed to the low round of the day on the Vanderbilt Legends Club South Course and overtook No. 1 Alabama for the overall lead heading into the final round on Sunday. Vanderbilt shot an even-par 284 on Saturday, and has a two-round total of 573 (289-284) two strokes better than the Crimson Tide.
"It was a good day for our team," Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh said. "Last night, all we talked about was focusing on doing the simple things a little bit better, and I was proud of how we did that. We got off to a good start and did a few shaky things to get through there, but today was what today was, a day to play our way into the tournament, and we were able to do that. We understand what's ahead of us, and it's a three round fight, and this is only round two, so we have one more to go. We understand what we do when we play well, and that's focusing on the right things and having fun."
Junior Hunter Stewart led the way for the Commodores, shooting a two-under par, 69, on Saturday. A Lexington, Ky., native, Stweart, had a steady day around the South Course, posting three birdies and only one bogey in cold and windy conditions, and is in a tie for second individually.
Junior Jordan Janico was next for Vanderbilt, carding an even-par 71, with senior Charlie Ewing and sophomore Carson Jacobs each posting a one-over par, 72. Sophomore Zack Jaworski was only one stroke back of Jacobs and Ewing with a 73.
"I'm really proud of Hunter Stewart the way he put the team on his shoulders again today and played a round you expect a junior, a really good player, that's been there and done that. He's had the team on his shoulders for the last two days," Limbaugh said. "The other guys have been doing their jobs too, but Hunter's really been good for us."
Temperatures began in the late 30's early in the day and ended in the high 50's, but the wind was a constant throughout the round. Players once again played lift, clean, and place on Saturday, but playing conditions were much dryer than the previous day, which began with heavy storms and rain in the area.
The number one-ranked Crimson Tide posted a 10-over par, 294, for the day, even though Tom Lovelady carded a hole-in-one on the par-3, 11th, and are two strokes back of the Commodores with a team total of 575 (281-294). Kennesaw State is in third place with a score of 580 (288-292).
Individually, Jack Maguire of Florida State vaulted into the lead after shooting a tournament-low 66 on Saturday. Maguire has a total of 137 (71-66), and has a one stroke lead on Stewart and Charlie Martin of Georgia Southern.
Vanderbilt also played five individuals, with junior Ben Fogler leading the way with a 142 (73-69), which put him in a tie for fifth.
The final round of the Mason Rudolph Championship concludes on Sunday, with tee times beginning at 8 a.m. off the number one tee, and at 8:15 off of number 10.