The Blog

Gordon Sargent had the opportunity to join the PGA Tour in June. Instead, the former Mountain Brook High School golfer announced on Thursday that he will return to Vanderbilt for another season of golf.

The No. 1 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking had earned PGA Tour membership through PGA Tour University Accelerated.

The program awards points to college freshmen, sophomores and juniors for accomplishments in college, other amateur and professional tournaments. Sargent became the first player to earn enough points before the end of his junior season for PGA Tour membership through PGA Tour University Accelerated.

“It’s been an honor to represent this university alongside my teammates and coaches,” Sargent said in a social-media post, “and I look forward to continuing to compete –and further my education – at this amazing place that has given so much to me.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me on this journey, and I’m excited for this final chapter at Vanderbilt.”

Under the program, Sargent still can accept PGA Tour membership in June 2025, and he will have exempt status through the 2026 season.

In an interview with the PGA Tour, Sargent said he talked to former Alabama golfer Nick Dunlap while making his decision.

Dunlap became the first amateur to win a PGA Tour tournament since 1991 when he beat the pros at The American Express on Jan. 20. The victory earned Dunlap the opportunity to join the PGA Tour immediately, and he left the Crimson Tide golf team.

In seven tournaments since turning pro, Dunlap’s best finish is tied for 11th at the Texas Children’s Houston Open on March 31. He’s also missed the cut three times.

“There’s not going to be a perfect answer,” Sargent told the PGA Tour. “After playing a few college events in the spring, I think you really appreciate how much you enjoy college golf. I’ve talked to Nick a little bit since he’s turned pro, and it’s one of those things where you’re only going to have four years in college. My dream is playing on the PGA Tour. With having the same status if I come back to school for one year, it was kind of a no-brainer. I can still take advantage of another year of school, be with my teammates, get my degree and continue to get better.

“If you talk to anybody who’s played college golf, they really do say it’s the best time of your life. I definitely valued that. I don’t think anybody was going to be mad at me if I left or mad at me if I stayed. But after reviewing with my parents, coaches and team-wise, it just seemed like it was the best thing for me.”

In 2021, Sargent won the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A boys’ golf individual championship playing for Mountain Brook. Sargent’s victories also include the Alabama Golf Association’s Alabama Junior in 2019 and the State Amateur in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, Sargent won the NCAA Division I men’s golf individual championship as a freshman at Vanderbilt.