On a tough day when no team was under par, the Tigers shot a 14-over 302 and are four strokes away from third-place South Carolina and eight shots inside the top eight, the qualification for the NCAA Championships.
Auburn freshman led the way on Friday as both Cydney Clanton and Sarah Thead each shot 3-over 75. Despite leading the team today, Clanton dropped two places and is tied for seventh, while Thead leaped 19 positions and is tied for 33rd.
Clanton finished the front nine at 1-over after a birdie on three and back-to-back bogeys on five and six. She didn't fare as well on the back stretch as she had three consecutive bogeys on 10 thru 13 before pulling back to 3-over with a birdie on 13. She went even par on the last five holes.
Thead had three bogeys on the front nine, but went even on 10 thru 14. A birdie on 15 put her at 2-over, but she finished with a bogey on 18.
Sophomore Candace Schepperle and junior Mariana Macias each fired 4-over 76. Schepperle is tied for 18th. She opened with a birdie before doubling on six. Another birdie on seven moved her back to even par and she finished the front nine at 1-over after a bogey on nine. Three straight bogeys on 14 thru 16 were the difference in her finish.
Macias jumped 12 spots and is tied for 40th. She opened with a bogey, but pulled back to even with a birdie on five. A bogey on seven and a double of eight put her at 3-over for the front stretch. Macias opened the back nine with two bogeys and a double on 13 and found herself at 7-over. She rebounded with three birdies on 14, 16 and 18 to finish at 4-over.
Senior Margaret Shirley is also tied for 40th after shooting 6-over 78 today. She had two bogeys on the front nine and matched that with two more on the back nine, in addition to a double on 16.
Number five Florida jumped ahead of top-ranked Duke after shooting 7-over 295 (290-295—585) and holds a three stroke lead over No. 1 Duke and a nine stroke lead over No. 32 South Carolina. The Blue Devils (285-303—588) and Gamecocks (291-303—594) both fired 15-over today.
Host Georgia improved to fifth today after shooting 12-over (299-300—599) and is tied with No. 32 Furman, who fired 19-over (292-307—599). Both teams are one stroke behind Auburn.
South Carolina's Benedicte Toumpsin moved into the leader spot after firing a round of 2-under 70. She is 6-under for the tournament and holds a three stroke advantage over two second place competitors. Duke's Amanda Blumenherst and Louisville's Sara-Maude Juneau are tied for second. Blumenherst shot 1-over 73 today and is 3-under for the tournament, while Juneau shot 2-over 74 today and is also 3-under overall.
Auburn will tee off Saturday at 8:10 a.m. ET with Georgia and Furman. Live stats will be available on www.golfstat.com. The top eight teams from this regional will advance to the NCAA Championship May 20-23 in Albuquerque, N.M. Auburn has advanced to the NCAA Championship 11 times in the last 12 seasons.