Men's Golf In 2nd Heading Into Final Round

Auburn is looking to advance to the NCAA Championships after another solid round at regional play in Colorado.

Erie, Col--The race for the title at the NCAA South Central-Colorado Regional is all but over with as Oklahoma State has a 16-shot lead going into the final day, but the Auburn Tigers are in a very good position to advance to the NCAA Championships after firing a one-under par round of 287 on Friday. Tied with the Georgia Bulldogs for second place, the Tigers of Coach Nick Clinard are looking to finish in the Top Five in order to advance to the NCAA's on June 1-5 at the Karsten Club in Stillwater, Okla.

Going into the final day #11 Auburn is in second, three shots ahead of No. 12 Georgia (276-570) and No. 25 Clemson (281-570). TCU is right on the cutline in fifth at 282-571, one shot ahead of No. 24 Arizona State (290-572) and Colorado State (289-572).

With so many teams still in the mix Clinard said it will be a long and exciting day on Saturday to see who advances.

"It is going to be a dogfight, and we are going to be in the final pairing," said Clinard. "We've been in the final pairing all year. That's what prepares you for NCAA Regionals. We just didn't putt good today. We struggled with the putter the whole round and didn't make enough putts. If we made six to seven putts, then we may have a chance to win the golf tournament. Hopefully, we will make them tomorrow after getting a good night's sleep and go out and play our best."

The day may have been a disaster without the strong play of number one player Blayne Barber. After firing an even par round on Thursday, he came back with a five-under round of 67 on Friday to carry the team. He is currently tied for sixth individually. Following up his 67 on Friday with a one-under round on the second day, Niclas Carlsson had the only other under par round for Auburn on the day and is tied for fourth.

"That was probably one of the best rounds of golf that I have played in a while," said Barber who birdied his final two holes to go along with three birdies on the front nine of his bogey-free round. "I hit every shot solid and didn't put myself in bad positions and finally got some putts to go in. It was a good feeling. I needed that. It was definitely good momentum going forward."

Michael Hebert had a 74-145 and is tied for 32nd while Kyle Kopsick is tied for 39th at 76-146 and Dominic Bozzelli is tied for 56th at 75-149.

Auburn will be paired with Oklahoma State and Georgia in the final round and goes off the first tee at 9:45 a.m.

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