Masters Invitee Gordon Sargent: You Saw Him Here First | Sports Destination Management

Masters Invitee Gordon Sargent: You Saw Him Here First

Jan 06, 2023 | By: Mary Helen Sprecher

Image above: The March/April 2011 issue of SDM featured a (very) young Gordon Sargent.

File this under: You Saw It Here First. Gordon Sargent, a golf standout at Vanderbilt University, just received something athletes twice his age (and more) covet: An invitation to the 2023 Masters in Augusta. But years before that (more than 10 years, in fact),  Sargent was a towheaded kid playing youth baseball in Alabama – and showing up in a featured photo in a 2011 issue of Sports Destination Management.

So how did the kid from Birmingham, Alabama make the jump?

It wasn’t an accident, for sure. Sargent has a long history of excelling in sports. While he started out as a youth baseball player (as a pitcher, he helped his team win the local fourth grade championship), it was in golf that he found his path.

According to Vanderbilt, Sargent is the reigning NCAA Division I men’s individual champion. The 19-year-old birdied the first hole of a four-way playoff in May to win, becoming the first freshman since 2007 to claim the individual title.

In case you missed it: He was a freshman when he did that. Now, on the cusp of turning 20, he has the distinction of being the first amateur in 23 years to receive a special invitation to Augusta. In other words, it hasn’t happened since before he was born.

In golf alone, he has amassed a raft of honors, including the following during his two years at Vanderbilt:

Gordon Sargent, same kid as in the photo above - and with just a bright a future
Gordon Sargent, same kid as in the top photo, and with just as bright a future.

As a Sophomore (2022-23):

  • Golfweek Preseason First-Team All-American
  • Named to 2022 Haskins Award Preseason Watch List
  • Named to Final Fall Haskins Award Watch List
  • co-SEC Golfer of the Week (Nov. 2)
  • co-SEC Golfer of the Week (Oct. 5)
  • Won the individual stroke play championship at the East Lake Cup with a 4-under-par 68
  • Tied for second at 2022 SEC Match Play event with a 54-hole total of 198
  • Shot 6-under-par at the Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational to tie for third overall
  • Shot a 62 in the second round of the Frederica Cup, finished tied for seventh overall at 14-under-par for the tournament
  • Tied for 36th overall individually and helped Team USA to a third-place finish at the 2022 World Amateur Team Championship
  • Competed for Team USA at the Palmer Cup
  • Advanced to match play at the 2022 U.S. Amateur

As a Freshman (2021-22):

  • 2022 individual national champion
  • Totaled a 280 through four rounds of stroke play at the NCAA Championships before winning a four-way playoff to win the individual national title
  • 2022 Phil Mickelson Outstanding Freshman Award
  • NCAA Division I PING First-Team All-American
  • Golfweek First-Team All-American
  • SEC Freshman of the Year
  • Haskins Award finalist
  • First Team All-SEC
  • SEC All-Freshman Team
  • PING All-Region Southeast
  • First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll
  • Led the Commodores with a 70.03 scoring average
  • SEC Championships individual runner-up at 5-under-par (205)
  • Mossy Oak Collegiate champion with a 54-hole total 204 (-12)
  • Named SEC Freshman of the Week (April 14)
  • Named SEC Freshman of the Week (April 7)
  • Named SEC Freshman of the Week (March 31)
  • Shot a 4-under-par 212 and tied for fourth at the Palm Beach Regional
  • Tied for fourth at the Linger Longer Invitational at 7-under-par (209)
  • Finished fifth at the 2022 Mason Rudolph Championship with a 54-hole total of 204
  • In his Vanderbilt debut, tied for sixth at the 2021 Carmel Cup with a 4-under-par 212
  • Came in seventh at the Cabo Collegiate at 10-under-par
  • Tied for eighth at the Williams Cup

The Sargent File

  • No. 1-ranked player in state of Alabama
  • No. 2-ranked player in class of 2021
  • Three-time Rolex Junior All American
  • 2021 Western Amateur runner-up
  • 2021 USA TODAY Male Golfer of the Year
  • 2021 Alabama Golf Association Amateur Player of the Year
  • 2020 recipient of the Paul S. Simon Character Award (Sage Valley Invitational)
  • Co-founder and three-time host of the Alabama Cup charity event, which has raised more than $150,000 for the AJGA Ace Grant and Alabama charities
  • Two-time Alabama boys Junior Player of the Year
  • Two-time AJGA champion
  • 2020 Alabama State Amateur champion
  • 2019 Alabama State Junior champion
  • Competed in 2019 US Junior
  • Competed in 2020 US Amateur
  • Ranked No. 3 nationally by Golfweek, Junior Golf Scoreboard and Rolex

And in case you’re doubting his youth prowess on the diamond, check out the picture from SDM’s March/April 2011 issue. Then compare it to the shot of him with his NCAA trophy – same kid, just with a world more experience.

It’s a pretty sure bet that NCAA trophy won’t be the last one he hoists.

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