AU shot a team total of 304 on Thursday. The 16-over-par round dropped the Tigers from 10th place to 18th going into round three of the four-day tournament at the challenging Kampen Course near Purdue University that is playing 7,450 yards long.
For a second straight day, no team was able to shoot under par, but two finished even par at 288. One of those, 10th-ranked Clemson, used the good round to move into first place at 13-over-par, one shot ahead of fifth-ranked UCLA and two-ahead of top-ranked Southern California.
Auburn's 610 total is 21 strokes out of first place and one behind 18th place UAB. The Tigers are four shots behind Alabama, which is on the cutline at 15th place. After Friday's round teams 16 through 30 will be cut prior to play the final round on Saturday.
The Tigers looked to be in good shape to challenge for a spot in the Top 10 at the halfway point of their round on Thursday. Starting on the more demanding back nine, the Tigers were just four-over-par on that side, but slumped on the front nine with the five players combining for just two birdies to go with 13 bogeys and three costly double bogeys.
The low round of the day for the Tigers, plus the most unusual scorecard, belonged to Patton Kizzire. The senior's first nine holes featured five birdies, no pars, three bogeys and one triple bogey. He turned at plus one, but finished at plus three 75.
Jay Moseley (left) and Coach Mike Griffin are shown at the NCAA Tournament.
Seniors Jay Moseley and Steven Groover posted rounds of 76 and the final score counted by the Tigers was a 77 from senior Gordon Strother. Junior Glenn Northcutt was just one-over-par on the tough back nine, but was seven-over the rest of the way to finish with a 79.
With improved weather conditions, the average round on Thursday was 75.33 compared to 78.60 on day one.
"Today was the day to score," said Auburn coach Mike Griffin. "These were perfect conditions. The golf course is tough, but we let it get away from us.
"We played the back nine without trouble and it is the side that gave us problems in the first round. We didn't play well on the front side today. We just need to do some soul-searching and come out Friday and play Auburn golf."