Vanderbilt wins East regional, Jennifer Hahn claims individual title
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Vanderbilt once again dominated a tough field and led wire-to-wire to claim their second NCAA team regional championship in the history of the program on Saturday at the East regional. Individually, Jennifer Hahn won medalist honors at the regional for Vanderbilt's second career individual title and joins former Commodore great Jacqui Concolino as the only Vanderbilt player to accomplish the feat.
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Hahn torched the SouthWood Course herself on Saturday, firing a six-under par, 66, while carding six birdies and an eagle in route to her first career individual title. A Las Vegas, Nev., native, she finished with a three-round total of 207 (68-73-66) and won medalist honors by three shots over teammate Kendall Martindale, who carded a five-under par 67 on Saturday and a six-under par, 210 (72-71-67) for the tournament. Martindale finished a shot ahead of Irina Gabasa, who finished in a tie for fourth with a final total of 211 (70-72-69), along with South Carolina's Justine Draber and NC State's Augusta James.
"I got off to a slow start and was one over after five holes, " Hahn said. "I didn't take advantage of the par five on one, but made a good birdie on six and seven, which kind of got me going. I made the turn at one under, and on 10, I hit a really good four iron to about three feet on the par five, and had a tap-in for eagle. I then went eagle, birdie, birdie, so I was pretty hot at the start of the back nine. I knew I had to calm down a little bit, but it was fun.
"I was hitting the ball really well [Saturday]. [Friday] I couldn't make a lot of putts, but they seemed to be falling today."
In all, Vanderbilt had four golfers in the top 11 on the individual leader board with Simin Feng ending the tournament in a tie for 11th with a score of 213 (68-73-72). Antonia Scherer also had a stellar tournament, finishing in a tie for 24th with a final total of one-over par 217 (71-73-73).
The Commodores' three-round score of 840 set a new program-best for 54 holes, beating the former record at the 2014 Central District Invitational by four shots. The final-round 274 also set a new single-round program record by one shot that was previously held in 2006 at the Stanford-Pepsi Intercollegiate on a par-71 format.
Individually, Hahn becomes the Commodores' third medalist of the season, joining Feng, who won two individual titles this season at the Central District and the SEC Championship, respectively. Her 207 total in Tallahassee is the second-lowest in program history, and her final-round 66 ties for the second-lowest individual round in the history of the program.
"They got off to a great start and made a lot of birdies," Vanderbilt head coach Greg Allen said. "We thought after the first practice round that the scores would be low and there were a lot of good teams behind us, so we didn't think the lead was safe. They just came out and kept increasing that lead, and Jenny got it going on the back nine. I've never seen a back nine played that good. She goes eagle, birdie, birdie right out of the gate and never let up. I'm really proud of her, and really proud of the whole team. From start to finish, every one of them made a huge impact on this tournament."
The Commodores will represent the East regional as the No. 1 seed May 20-23 at the NCAA championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the Tulsa Country Club.
"These five girls, we click together so well," Hahn said. "We have so much team chemistry and it's really hard to play bad with these five."