After a difficult year in which Auburn struggled with one of the toughest schedules in the nation, head coach Mike Griffin said his team has come together and found its identity going into the NCAA East Regional.
"Right now, we are playing some of the best golf we have played all year long," Griffin said. "It's encouraging because if you want to pick a time of year where you want to play your best, now is the time to do it."
Auburn put together a strong finish to the regular season to earn the regional berth. The Tigers won the Billy Hitchcock Invitational and then finished third at the SEC Championship in Sea Island, Ga., to receive one of the 27 invitations given for the regional.
Coach Mike Griffin
"We struggled early trying to find our personality," Griffin said. "I'd say right now that we are a pretty strong contingent from top to bottom."
The Tigers feature a solid roster led by senior Jonathan Dismuke. Dismuke has led Auburn in six of the Tigers' tournaments this year, finishing second in the Hitchcock Invitational.
Also traveling to New Haven are Andrew Medley, who finished eighth at the SEC Championship, along with Will Claxton, Stuart Moore and Matthew Myers. Moore finished sixth at the Hitchcock and Myers was seventh.
Though Auburn has finished its regular season strongly, Griffin knows that to become one of 10 teams at the regional to be invited to the NCAA Championship that is scheduled from June 1-4 in Hot Springs, Va., Auburn must play its best on a difficult golf course. "It's a very mentally demanding," Griffin said. "It doesn't look like much when you look at the numbers. It's about 6,600 yards long, but it is a par-70. It's very restrictive as to where you can hit the golf ball.
"I don't think there will be a lot of people under par," added the Auburn coach, whose team will play a practice round at the Yale University Golf Course on Wednesday.