Playing at The Course at Yale the surprising Tigers moved up two spots from eighth place into a tie with Georgia at sixth place. The unranked Tigers are just five shots out of first place and actually led the tournament briefly on Friday before dropping back on the final holes.
Penn State, at 15-over-par 575, is the surprise leader with one round to play in the three-day event. Florida, the nation's top ranked team, is in second at 576. North Carolina is a stroke behind the Gators and is followed by Clemson and Georgia Tech, who are each at 579.
Auburn improved from an opening round 294 to a 286 and is a shot ahead of Rhode Island. The top 10 finishers in the 27-team field will qualify for the nationals and Auburn goes into the final day of play eight shots ahead of the cut line.
Senior Jonathan Dismuke finished his round with a one-under-par 69 to help place the Tigers in the Top 10. Stuart Moore and Will Claxton both shot one-over-par 71s today while Andrew Medley and Matthew Myers both finished with 75s on the par 70 course. Dismuke and Moore are tied for fourth place at one-over-par 141, which is four strokes off the pace set by Wake Forest's Bill Haas.
"The guys played very well today," Auburn coach Mike Griffin said. "We had three people, between the three of them, play that golf course one over par and I was pleased with that."
Starting on the back nine Friday afternoon, Dismuke was remarkably consistent with six pars before making a birdie at the par-5 16th. Dismuke birdied number two before a bogey on six brought him back to -1.
Moore struggled early with two bogeys and a double bogey despite a birdie on number 11, but he rebounded with a bogey and three birdies on the front nine to finish with his 71.
Claxton had four straight bogeys sandwiched between two birdies on the back nine. A birdie on the first hole and eight straight pars on the front nine left him at +1.
"Those were extraordinarily good rounds," Griffin said. "There aren't many good rounds under par on that golf course."
Medley was hot on the back nine scoring birdies on holes 11, 12 and 14, but had a difficult front in which he shot six bogeys and a double that put him at 75.
Myers bogeyed 10 and 13 and had a double bogey on 18, but logged eight pars and a final bogey on the front nine to remain +5.
"We got solid play from Matthew and Andrew," Griffin said. "They weren't necessarily great rounds, but they posted great totals. Matthew got off to a shaky start, but then held on and put a good round up."
Auburn will begin the final round of the tournament at approximately 7 a.m. CDT Saturday with Medley opening the round. The top 10 teams will qualify to compete at the NCAA Championship in Hot Springs, Va., on June1-4.
"All in all, I think it was a good day," Griffin said. "It puts us in a position for something good to happen if we play one more good round.
"Quite frankly, we just played well," Griffin added. "If we can keep playing like we are playing these past two days, I think we have a real good chance."