Auburn Golfers Shooting For SEC Title

Lexington, Ky.--The sixth-ranked Auburn women's golf team will be looking to win its first SEC Championship since 2000 when play begins on the par-72, 6,153-yard University Club's Big Blue championship course Friday. <P>

Headlined by the Tigers, six of the 12 teams are ranked in the GolfWeek/Sagarin Top 25. Ranked ninth in the country is Vanderbilt, Tennessee is at 10, Florida 11th, Georgia 15th and defending SEC Champion South Carolina is ranked 16th. Rounding out the field will be Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

Celeste Troche is a two-time first team All-American and a three-time All-SEC pick.

In her usual position, senior Celeste Troche will play the one spot for the Tigers, while junior Diana Ramage plays the second position. Freshman Maria Martinez, who was a finalist for the 2002 U.S. Women's Amateur last summer, will play at number three while senior Danielle Downey will play at number four. Sophomore Kingsley Barrett will play the number five position for the Tigers.

"I feel real good about the team," Auburn head coach Kim Evans said. "They are prepared for this tournament. We have a very talented team, but we need all five players to play hard and I think that we are ready to do that. We are prepared for this tournament, so we will go play and see what happens."

Danielle Downey is a three-time All-SEC player and a two-time second team All-American.

Auburn got the season off to a good start last fall by finishing no worse than fifth in four tournaments, including wins at the FSU Dodge ACC/SEC Challenge and the Tennessee Mercedes Benz Collegiate Championship. The Tigers' stellar play in the fall hasn't carried over to the spring as their best finish is a fourth-place tie at the Lady Gamecock Classic in South Carolina.

The tournament will be a three-day, 54-hole event beginning Friday. Auburn tees off at 10:30 a.m. CT looking to better its second place finish from a year ago. Live scoring will be available at www.golfstat.com.


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