Carlsson posted five birdies, 11 pars and two bogeys on the Sea Island course as the Tigers finished at six-under-par 274, two shots off the lead held by Alabama. Georgia and South Carolina are tied for third place with rounds of 277.
"It was very windy starting off and holes one through five played very tough, but the guys hung in there and we had some good scoring opportunities on the back nine," Auburn assistant coach Evan Osteen said.
"We just really fought all day and finished strongly so that was nice," Osteen added.
Freshman Matt Gilchrest posted a round of 68 for the Tigers, who also counted rounds of 69 from freshman Will long and even-par 70 from sophomore Jake Mondy. The Tigers didn't have to count a 75 shot by junior Daniel Stringfellow, who opened Friday's competition with four bogeys on his first five holes.
Commenting on freshmen Gilchrest and Long, Osteen said, "They bust their tail by working hard every day and beyond that they have a great attitude. They love the game. All they are trying to do is get better every day and it has been a joy to watch them progress from the fall to now."
The coach said that Carlsson continued his strong senior performance during Friday's round. "He is doing the same thing he has been doing all spring and that is hitting a lot of good golf shots. He had a good game plan, conservative but aggressive. He picked his spots when he went at pins. He was being the senior leader we certainly need him to be."
The tournament continues with round two on Saturday and the 54-hole event concludes on Sunday. Auburn finished third in last year's tournament on the game course. The Tigers are scheduled to tee off at 8:10 a.m. CDT for round two.
"The guys played well in windy conditions in our tee time wave," said AU Head Coach Nick Clinard whose Tigers have won three tournament titles this spring. "It was tough out there, but we have great players that are very talented. This team has prepared all year to win championships and they are fun to coach."