The Tigers are making their 24th overall NCAA Regional appearance in the last 26 years as sixth-year head coach Nick Clinard has led the Tigers to six-straight NCAA Regionals while advancing to four-straight NCAA Championships. Taking a deep and talented team into this year’s postseason, Clinard said he’s excited to see what his team can do.
“It’s very exciting,” Clinard said. “It’s a lot of hard work and preparation and things of that nature go into a long season in college golf. We’re excited to be chosen and look forward to the challenge of competing out in Texas, especially against a very, very good Texas team.”
Led by Beau Hossler, Texas is a talented team that Auburn saw last year in the regional at Auburn University Club so the Tigers won’t be a stranger to the Longhorns. While Texas comes in as one of the favorites to be playing for a national title, Auburn is right there with them thanks to a deep and talented team with Michael Johnson having two tournament wins and Dan Stringfellow also with a tournament win. Throw in SEC Freshman of the Year Ben Schlottman and his 69.67 stroke average, lowest in Auburn history, and All-SEC sophomore Matt Gilchrest and his 70.41 stroke average, the second-lowest in school history, and Clinard said he’s got a group that can compete with anyone.
“First of all our team is very good,” Clinard said. “We’ve got a bunch of great players and young men. We had three guys make All-SEC, which is hard to do with our league because only 16 players make All-SEC. I felt like another guy probably should have made the team. We’ve had four individual champions this spring and three team championships this spring as well.
“We’re coming off some decent play at the SEC’s and we feel like we probably should have run away with that event and won pretty big, but that’s golf,” he added. “I feel very good about my team. We’ve got guys that have worked hard and done the right things and they’re all playing very well.”
The Lubbock Regional teams in order of seeding include No. 3 Texas, No. 11 Texas Tech, No. 7 Auburn, No. 26 North Florida, No. 28 California, Houston, Louisville, Duke, Southeastern Louisiana, Purdue, Georgia State, California-Irvine and Charleston Southern.
Individuals in the Lubbock Regional include Tomasz Anderson, Jacksonville State; Adria Arnaus, Texas A&M; Victor Lange, Louisiana Tech; Tyler McDaniel, Kentucky; David Snyder, Kentucky; Greg Yates, Texas A&M; Martin Simonsen, Texas-El Paso; Matt Mabrey, Tulsa; Jake Sherwin, Florida Gulf Coast; and Nocolas Platret, Texas-Pan American.
Eight SEC teams qualified for the NCAA Regionals, including South Carolina at the Gold Mountain Club in Bremerton, Wash.; Florida at the UNC Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, N.C.; Vanderbilt, LSU and Arkansas at The Course at Yale in New Haven, Conn.; Alabama at The Sagamore Club in Noblesville, Ind.; and Georgia and Ole Miss at The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
Auburn will tee off at 8:24 a.m. in Wednesday’s practice round and will open the first round on Thursday off No. 1 at 8 a.m, Central with Texas and Texas Tech.
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