A Long Time Coming
The Frederica Cup was everything it was cracked up to be as William Moll collected that elusive first victory
By Jordan Perez
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — It had been a long afternoon for the Vanderbilt Commodores. First, they overcame a thunderstorm that came out of nowhere. Then they fended off a charge from the Oklahoma Sooners. But the Commodores walked off with the team title at the inaugural Frederica Cup on Thursday, clipping the Sooners by three shots. For good measure, senior William Moll took home medalist honors.
After offering his gratitude to his team and for the familial support in a speech that lasted maybe 30 seconds, all while juggling two trophies, Vanderbilt coach Scott Limbaugh announced: “We’ve got a flight to catch!” But there was time for one last stop: posing in front of the scoreboard for pictures that documented their win. And why not? The Frederica Cup featured a lineup of eight top-tier programs, and the golf didn’t disappoint.
The atmosphere was big-time, as caddies provided by the host club—atypical in college golf—helped the players survive in the 90-degree humidity. It was exactly the kind of splashy season-opening event the college golf community was looking for, and a sweet PGA Tour University boost for those kicking off a critical year.
“As we worked through the approval process for the enhanced benefits, we took into account feedback from college coaches and players, as well as our members on the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour,” said Chris Williams, senior manager of PGA Tour University. Such feedback makes gatherings off these big fields extra meaningful for players like Moll, whose senior year will determine what’s next.
But he ultimately prevailed, navigating Frederica like the pro he soon hopes to be. He fired a 4-under 68, finishing the 54-hole event at 19 under par. That was a shot clear of teammate Cole Sherwood, who closed fast with a bogey-free, 8-under 64. Because of the downpour, Sherwood had to sit on a four-foot par putt at the last. Playing a couple of groups behind, Moll had two holes to play. He parred them both to seal the win. Goodman slipped to a T-4 finish at 15 under after playing the back nine in 2 over par.
“It feels great to start off my senior year this way,” Moll said. “It gives me a lot of confidence. Hopefully I can just keep it going.”
No one could have imagined it would have taken Moll this long to secure his first victory. He was the co-medalist at the 2019 U.S. Junior Amateur and an AJGA standout, and he appeared to be on track to take college golf by storm. But it wasn’t just the scores that attracted Limbaugh; Moll’s golf IQ was off the charts. He played every tournament as a freshman, carding multiple rounds in the 60s.
Then came Covid, which effectively ended Moll’s season. As a sophomore, he was named first-team All-SEC after accumulating nine top-15 finishes. He slumped a year later, plagued by swing issues despite being a core piece of the team’s six-win season.
At the Frederica Cup, the Commodores increased their victory total over the last calendar year to seven. But this spirited tournament was a win for all of college golf.