AUBURN, Ala. – No. 6 Auburn men’s golf won the Tiger Invitational Presented by Jason Dufner for their second-straight team win of the spring, carding a 13-under 275 final round on Tuesday at Grand National to finish at 25-under 281-283-275—839.
The Tigers were the lone team to finish under par in the field and won by a 25-stroke margin over Georgia State, who finished with an even-par 296-287-281—864.
“I’m really proud of my team,” head coach Nick Clinard said. “The guys came out today in some adverse conditions in the final round. It was cold and windy, and we kind of went through all of the elements today. They played great and made a statement. We talked about that before the tournament. It’s a chance to make a statement and show that we are one of the best teams in the country. They came out and played some great golf this week.”
Rough and rainy conditions caused third round play to be delayed and eventually moved to a shotgun start, but that proved to have little effect on the Tigers as seven players finished in the top 11, including senior Ben Schlottman, who finished runner-up at 10-under 69-71-66—206.
Schlottman, an All-American selection as a freshman, displayed great consistency all weekend and capped it with an outstanding 6-under 66 performance on Tuesday that included a total of seven birdies and a lone bogey. It is Schlottman’s best collegiate finish since the 2015 SEC Championship where he also finished runner-up.
“Ben is really swinging the club beautifully, probably the best I’ve seen him swing the golf club in his college career,” Clinard said. “He’s just more mature. He’s a senior, a great leader and his actions and words speak volumes. He’s really kind of shaping into form right now.”
Sophomore Ryan Knop finished just behind his teammate in sole possession of third place at 8-under 70-70-68—208. His 4-under final round saw four birdies on the front on Nos. 3, 4, 6 and 7 and three more on the back on Nos. 10, 12 and 14.
A trio of Tigers tied for 11th at 3-under 213, one of which was freshman Brandon Mancheno, who picked up his fifth top-20 finish of the season. Mancheno (71-71-71) had three birdies and eagled the par-5 14th on Tuesday. Junior Trace Crowe had a sensational final round, tallying an eye-popping birdies as part of a 7-under 65 to climb 29 spots in the standings.
Freshman Wells Padgett, who held the individual lead early in Tuesday’s round, was the last of the Tiger trio in 11th. He eagled the par-4 16th and finished with a 68-70-75.
Maryland’s David Kocher edged Schlottman for medalist honors, finishing at 11-under 67-69-69—205.
Mississippi State and Kennesaw State tied for third at 1-over 865 followed by Maryland (866), Missouri (869), Charlotte (874), Troy (875), Minnesota (877) and Chattanooga (879).
UNCG and UNCW tied for 11th at 880 followed by Southern Mississippi (881), James Madison (883), South Alabama (884), Kansas State (885) and Samford (925) to round out the field.
Up next for the Tigers is a trip to Ponte Vedra, Fla. for the John Hayt Invitational March 18 and 19.
2 Ben Schlottman 69-71-66—206 (-10)
3 Ryan Knop (Ind) 70-70-68—208 (-8)
T8 Jovan Rebula 68-71-73—212 (-4)
T8 Graysen Huff (Ind) 76-67-69—212 (-4)
T11 Brandon Mancheno 71-71-71—213 (-3)
T11 Trace Crowe 74-74-65—213 (-3)
T11 Wells Padgett (Ind) 68-70-75—213 (-3)
T31 Jacob Solomon 73-70-76—219 (+3)
T31 Andrew Kozan (Ind) 78-70-71—219 (+3)
T54 Marcus Svensson (Ind) 76-72-75—223 (+7)
T56 Reagan Harrell (Ind) 73-74-77—224 (+8)