Senior Looking For "Perfect Finish"

All-SEC golfer Courtney Swaim gives a scouting report on the NCAA Tournament field, her Tigers and the Washington National Golf Club course.

Auburn, Wash.--Courtney Swaim says she and her Auburn teammates are as ready as they can be to take their best shot at winning the NCAA Women's Golf Championship.

After two days of practice rounds on the beautiful Washington National Golf Club course, Swaim says the Tigers are ready to tee it up and compete for four rounds in the tournament that runs Tuesday through Friday.

Courtney Swaim

For the All-SEC senior, this is her last chance at a national title. She has played a major role in helping the Tigers develop into a golf power and says she would enjoy a big finish.

"If we could win the national championship, that would be a perfect ending to my college career at Auburn," Swaim says. "With all of the success we have had the past four years, we haven't won a championship at the conference or national tournaments the past two years so it would be special to do it this week."

Swaim tees off during the Topy Cup competition that Auburn won early this season in Japan.

Swaim, who graduated last week from AU with a degree in business administration, says she has really enjoyed Auburn and being a part of Coach Kim Evans' team. "College golf is a lot of fun and I will definitely miss it," she says. This summer she plans to play on the amateur circuit and in the fall Swaim will go to qualifying school to try to earn a spot on the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour.

Swaim played in LPGA Chick-Fil-A event earlier this month in Atlanta and performed well. She qualified for the tournament by winning the 2001 Georgia Women's Open at five-under-par. She has also scored well in college matches with par or better efforts in her last five rounds.

"My hope was to be playing my best golf at this time of year and I think that I probably am," Swaim says. "Hopefully, it will continue in the NCAA Tournament. I think the whole team is ready to play well. We aren't anxious or nervous at all. We are well prepared and feeling good about our chances."

The Tigers are ranked number one nationally, but that is no guarantee of success. Swaim says there are plenty of teams talented enough to win the big prize. She notes that second-ranked Duke, the team that edged Auburn at the NCAA East Regionals for the top qualifying spot, Tulsa and Texas look to be Auburn's toughest competition, but adds, "There are other teams that can get hot and win it."

Auburn and Texas tied for first place back in September at the 24-team NCAA Preview on the Washington National course, but AU won the event in the tiebreak in an event that was shortened by bad weather to just 36 holes. Swaim handled the conditions well, shooting rounds of 76-70 to finish ninth individually.

Swaim says the course is playing about the same as it did in September with one major exception. "The greens are a lot softer than they were in September," she notes. "The course is relatively new. I believe it is just about two years old so it is not surprising that the greens are easier to hold shots on now, which I think is a good thing.

"I really like the course," the Auburn senior adds. "It is challenging and it is in unbelievable shape. It is the type of course that requires you to hit a lot of different shots. It has some holes where you really have to think about what you need to do and others where you can just go ahead and boom it. It is a true test of golf."

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