Successful Weekend For Auburn Golf Teams

Both the women's and men's golf teams had successful weekends at the SEC Golf Championships and each squad put itself in prime position to make the next step into NCAA play next month.

The 10th-ranked Auburn women's golf team shot a final round 294 for an 881 total to tie for second with host and 25th-ranked LSU (289-881) in the SEC Women's Championship at the par-72, 6387-yard University Club course Sunday. Both Tigers finished four shots behind No. 7 Vanderbilt, which carded a final round 291 for an 877 total.

"We had an outstanding tournament and gave it our best shot," Auburn head coach Kim Evans said. "You just have to take your hat off to Vanderbilt. It was a great tournament that came down to the wire. I am nothing but pleased. This will get us in gear for the postseason."

Tiger sophomore Maria Martinez tied for fourth with a final round 1-under 71 for a 218 total, five shots behind individual champion May Wood of Vanderbilt (73-213), who won in a playoff with a par on the first hole of a sudden death playoff over Tennessee's Violeta Retamoza (71-213).

Auburn freshman Nicole Hage (73-221) and sophomore Leah Hart (74-221) tied for 11th while junior Kingsley Barrett tied for 20th with a 76-224. Sophomore Jennifer Head finished 30th after a 77-226.

No. 22 Tennessee had a 294 for an 882 total to finish fourth followed by No. 12 Florida (293-885), No. 5 Georgia (295-890), South Carolina (296-899), Ole Miss (295-905), Arkansas (304-909), Alabama (307-913), Mississippi State (308-923) and Kentucky (305-929).

While the women were challenging for a title, the men were busy making a name for themselves after a sub-par season on the links. At St. Simon's Island, Ga. Auburn's men's golf team shot a final round 294 for an 859 total to finish third in the SEC Championship at the par-70, 6898-yard Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club Sunday.

Fourth-ranked Georgia shot a 283 to edge top-ranked Florida by a stroke. The Bulldogs had a three-day 843 total followed by the No. 1 Gators (284-844), Auburn (294-859), Vanderbilt (281-864), No. 22 Kentucky (286-866), Tennessee (289-868), No. 12 South Carolina (294-869), LSU (282-875), No. 19 Arkansas (287-883), Mississippi State (288-887), Alabama (305-889) and Ole Miss (306-902).

"I am tickled to death with the way we played this weekend," Auburn head coach Mike Griffin said. "This is by far the toughest conference tournament in the country, and we held our own. Now, we turn our attention to the waiting game to see whether we have earned a NCAA Regional bid. These guys definitely deserve it."

Sophomore Andrew Medley tied for eighth with a 73-213 while junior Will Claxton was a shot back to tie for 13th at 74-214. Sophomore Stuart Moore tied for 15th with a 73-215, senior Jonathan Dismuke tied for 31st with a 78-221 and junior Matthew Myers finished 47th with a 74-225.

Georgia's Brendon Todd fired a final round 1-under 69 to claim the individual title with a 3-under 207, a shot ahead of Florida's Matt Every (71-208) and Vanderbilt's Mark Donnell (67-208).

The women will return to action May 6-8 at NCAA Regionals. The site is yet to be determined. The NCAA Championships will be held the next weekend at Grand National in Opelika. The men's fate rests in the hands of the NCAA Golf Committee which will determine the teams for NCAA Regional play May 20-22 at a site to be determined

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