Golf

USA TODAY Sports Male Golfer of the Year Gordon Sargent hopes strong showing at U.S. Amateur propels him to success at Vanderbilt

USA TODAY Sports Male Golfer of the Year Gordon Sargent hopes strong showing at U.S. Amateur propels him to success at Vanderbilt

The Mountain Brook High School boys golf team, Alabama’s defending state champions, had fun punishments for the players whose scores were dropped from competition.

“We had them make some Tik-Tok’s of our choosing. Those were pretty bad,” said Gordon Sargent with a laugh. “It was a big motivator.”

Sargent, the No. 2-ranked junior player in the country, never had a score dropped and never had to record an embarrassing video. Instead the Vanderbilt-bound freshman ended an impressive high school career with his second individual state title and was named the Male Golfer of the Year last week at the inaugural USA TODAY National High School Sports Awards.

“I really enjoyed playing high school golf, it’s tough to focus sometimes but we have a pretty good team, we push each other, it was a fun time,” said Sargent after his second round at the U.S. Amateur at Oakmont Country Club. “It’ll definitely be a little more serious, college golf, but it was fun playing with our team. All the guys were great.”

The three-time Rolex Junior All-American has played well this summer, with six top-10 finishes to his name, including a runner-up at the Western Amateur last week and a quarterfinal run at the U.S. Junior. Sargent also defended his title at the Alabama State Amateur thanks to a 9-under 62 in the third round.

“I didn’t really win a lot in junior golf, had some good finishes, but I think that was kind of a motivator to keep playing well,” said Sargent. “I’ve played pretty solid this year, haven’t been able to get it done yet but last week at the Western was a pretty big confidence booster.”

The Alabama teen has helped raise more than $150,000 for the AJGA Ace Grant and Alabama charities as the co-founder of the charity event, the Alabama Cup, alongside Reynolds Lambert. The inaugural event was hosted in 2018 at Sargent’s home course, Shoal Creek.

After this week’s event in Western Pennsylvania, Sargent will set his eyes on Nashville, Tennessee, where he’ll move in to Vanderbilt on August 21st. He’s hoping a strong showing this week will put him in head coach Scott Limbaugh’s good graces.

“Playing against the best players in the world, to compete with these guys, it’s a big learning experience,” said Sargent. “Hopefully make it to match play, win some matches and earn some exemptions for the year.”

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