Coach Mike Griffin's Tigers are looking to win their third tournament title of the spring season and fifth straight Billy Hitchcock Intercollegiate title. Last year, the Tigers shot a three-under-par total of 861 at the Saugahatchee Country Club course to defeat Southeastern Louisiana by six strokes and SMU by nine. Kevin Haefner, who was a senior, won the individual title with a nine-under-par finish with rounds of 69-70-68 on the 6,689-yard course.
Auburn, which is ranked 13th nationally in the Golfweek poll, is one of five Top 30 teams in the field. College of Charleston is 18th, Arkansas is 21st, Vandy is 24th and Alabama is 30th. Other teams in the field include FSU, Georgia State, Memphis, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Southeastern Louisiana and UAB.
In Auburn's last outing, the Tigers finished fifth of 15 at the Chris Schenkel Invitational in Statesboro, Ga., after winning their two previous tournaments.
The Hitchcock is the final tune-up for Griffin's Tigers before they travel to Sea Island, Ga., where they hope to defend their SEC title. "We have been playing better this spring than we did in the fall," Griffin says. "I hope we are playing well enough to keep our momentum going another week because we have been off for a couple of weeks."
Jay Mundy is Auburn's No. 1 player.
For the Tigers, senior Jay Mundy, juniors Lee Williams and Tyler McKeever, sophomore Will Claxton and freshman Stuart Moore will be in the lineup. Juniors Jonathan Dismuke and Lee Wilson, sophomores Matthew Myers and Manuel Offermanns and freshman Andrew Medley will compete as members of the Auburn team, but their scores will not count in the team standings.
There is no admission charge to watch the 54-hole event that is named in honor of Billy Hitchcock, a former multi-sport athlete at Auburn who played and managed in Major League baseball.
The Auburn women's golf team, which is currently ranked seventh nationally, is off this week. Coach Kim Evans' team will play at the SEC Championship April 18-20 at the University Club in Lexington, Ky.