Essential Golf: A passion for the Game

The Rise of Gordon Sargent – The Amateur Golfer Heading to the Masters

The Rise of Gordon Sargent - The Amateur Golfer Heading to the Masters
(Brandon Wade/Alamy)

Vanderbilt University sophomore Gordon Sargent is a 19-year-old golf star who has recently received the call of a lifetime – an invitation to the 2023 Masters Tournament. What more can an amateur golfer desire?

The Birmingham, Alabama native has been making significant strides in the sport, famed for his ball speeds averaging 185mph. Since joining Vanderbilt, Sargent has been on a mission to become the best in golf, becoming the first freshman to scoop the NCAA individual championship since 2007, when he won the trophy in 2022.

Career Beginnings

Sargent hails from an average golfing background, with his father Seth Sargent enjoying a competitive mid-amateur career that has seen him participate in events including the George C. Thomas Invitational and the Crump Cup. 

As a kid, Sargent and his family were members of Shoal Creek and the Country Club of Birmingham, where the future star honed his skills. It was, however, at the Future Masters in Dothan, Alabama, where Sargent participated aged nine and discovered that golf was his true calling.

By the time the NCAA individual champion was twelve, people around him had noticed his enigmatic talent in golf. Specifically, he had large limbs for a youngster (inherited from his dad’s big physique) and would hit balls surprisingly far for his height.

Junior & Amateur Career

Sargent proved he was headed for a professional golfing career when he joined Mountain Brook High School. While here, the star underwent a significant growth spurt, hitting 5ft7 in his sophomore year and six feet by the time he joined Vanderbilt.

Armed with all the qualities of a great golfer, Sargent scooped the 2019 Alabama State Junior title. In 2020, he became the youngest Alabama State Amateur champion after scoring a record 24-under total.

In 2021, Sargent showcased his talent again when he successfully defended his State Amateur champion title thanks to a blistering third-round 62. The golf community around him couldn’t help noticing his rare qualities only akin to the best in the sport.

As a Vanderbilt freshman, he went all guns blazing during the 2022 NCAA National Championship, where he survived a four-man playoff to emerge the winner. The same year, he scooped the Phil Mickelson Outstanding Freshman Award and finished the campaign with a 70.03 stroke average, earning him widespread recognition.