Women's Golfers Looking for SEC Title Repeat

Franklin, Tenn.--The Auburn women's golf team, which has won the SEC Championship in three of the last six years, will try to win its sixth overall from April 14-16 at the Vanderbilt Legends Club.

The Tigers won the title last season in a three-hole playoff with Georgia, which they are paired with along with Arkansas at 9:15 a.m. CDT on Friday.

"They are ready to get to the postseason and they know they can play well," says head coach Kim Evans. "There are a lot of great schools and they have to play their best to win, but they are up for the challenge."

Auburn comes in ranked fifth in the country by the latest Golfweek ratings. Also in the top 20 are No. 4 Georgia, No. 9 Arkansas, No. 11 Tennessee, No. 15 Vanderbilt and No. 16 Florida.

Maria Martinez, who recently played in the Kraft Nabisco Open, one of the LPGA majors, is playing her best golf as a senior.

The last Tiger golfer to win the individual championship was Danielle Downey in 2000 and senior Maria Martinez will have the opportunity to become the fifth Auburn individual champion. She enters the tournament as the fourth-ranked golfer in the country with a 71.75 average.

Auburn has won two of its last three tournaments after finishing runnerup at the Liz Murphey Classic in its last outing, falling by two strokes to host Georgia.

Evans says her team is excited about defending its title. "Working off last year was a pretty big high. We returned everyone but Diana (Ramage) so I think they had a lot of confidence coming in and Maria steped right into that leadership role. Jessica (Lovell), Nicole (Hage), Abigale (Schepperle) and Margaret (Shirley) piggybacked that and made real strong statements early."

Live action will be posted on www.golfstat.com


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