25 OCTOBER, 2023 - NBC SPORTS: ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND – The stage was set, and teams were eager to tee off at the hallowed grounds of the Old Course for today’s medal match play final. Some of the game’s greatest players have walked the Old Course fairways, and today, these four universities add to the long and storied history of golf at St Andrews. In the wet and windy conditions, today’s round would be a true test of golf.
The women’s championship match was the first to conclude. Standing at the top are the North Carolina Tar Heels, led by Kayla Smith, who won yesterday’s women’s individual title. The match took a swing early, as Ing Iadpluem was up by seven strokes after the turn. Her opponent, Charlene Chung, would have to shake it off. Iadpluem would go on to beat her Chung by 15 shots, securing the first point for North Carolina. “I’m speechless, to be honest. Standing here—I only dreamed to be here (St Andrews). I shot a good round out there, had a good process throughout the whole round, and shot a low score at the Old Course. I have no words, I’m just speechless, really,” Iadpuem said about her match victory. Vilde Nystrom, the sophomore from Norway, secured the team’s clinching point. The Tar Heels would go on to win three of the four next matches to secure their historic first collegiate team win at the “home of golf.” North Carolina women’s head coach Aimee Neff said, “It’s special… to be the first time this tournament is here, and to be at the “home of golf,” just means a lot as a golfer. You couldn’t ask for a better place for this to happen. Obviously, we were just proud of the way the team fought and continued to play hard, and to have a couple of our freshman pick up a few wins today was great.”
On the men’s side, Vanderbilt’s Ben Loomis put the first point on the board for the Commodores. All eyes were on the second group in the championship match, Vanderbilt’s Jackson Van Paris and North Carolina’s Dylan Menante. The match was tied heading into the last. On the 18th hole, Menante drained a 10-foot birdie putt to tie Van Paris. The tie would not be enough to beat a strong Vanderbilt team, as they won the next three of four matches to secure the men’s team championship on the Old Course. “I’m super proud of our boys; they wanted to finish this tournament the right way, and they did, so I’m super happy for them… I think we created memories that will last a lifetime, that we’ll tell our children and our grandchildren about, and they’ll do the same, so it’s just amazing,” Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh said.
In the consolation bracket, Georgetown’s Morgan Gormley and Notre Dame’s Lauren Beaudreau were the first pairing out. Beaudreau was up early and never looked back, winning by 11 shots to secure Notre Dame’s first point in the consolation match. With a tie in the second group between Angela Lee and Montgomery Ferreira and the team tied 2-2-1, it all came down to the final match. In the end, it was Notre Dame’s Chloe Schiavone who finished three strokes better than Georgetown’s Georgia Ruffolo to win the match.
The final men’s match was between 3rd seed Notre Dame and 4th seed Georgetown. Notre Dame struck first as Calen Sanderson finished one stroke better than Georgetown’s Conner Willett, who yesterday shot the day’s best round of 64 at the Jubilee course. Georgetown would go on to win the next two matches, with Barnes Blake and Jacob Finard securing two points for the Hoyas. It wasn’t enough as Notre Dame would go on to win the next three matches and secure their match victory. “They played exceptionally. We had Jacob shoot 2 under par today on that course (Old Course); it was unreal. And just embracing the conditions. We’re used to just sunshine where we are, but it’s nice to get that Scottish weather today, and it was just enjoyable, Notre Dame men’s head coach John Handrigan said of the team’s win and weather. Nate Stevens, who had a hole-in-one earlier in the week, secured the winning point for Notre Dame.
The inaugural St Andrews Links Collegiate was a major triumph. This marked the first time a collegiate event has been played on property at St Andrews and the first time the Jubilee Course has ever been seen on television. Players, coaches and spectators alike enjoyed an unforgettable week at the “home of golf.” “It’s Heaven. For us to be here today, it’s just magical, really… And for us to come in and play the Old Course, play the Jubilee Course, and be a part of this amazing inter-collegiate event, you know, it will be a lifetime memory for these guys. I’m so grateful,” Georgetown men’s head coach Tommy Hunter said.