Barber In First, No. 6 Auburn One Stroke Off Lead After Opening Round At The Hootie
March 27, 2011
Awendaw, S.C. - The sixth-ranked Auburn men's golf team (281) finished Sunday's opening round of the Hootie at Bull's Bay tied for second, one stroke behind leader Wake Forest, at the Bulls Bay Golf Club in Awendaw, S.C.
The Tigers are tied at 3-under with defending national champion Augusta State and the No. 13 LSU Tigers. The 2011 Hootie field features four top-10 and eight top-25 teams including No. 5 Florida, No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 9 Augusta State, No. 15 Virginia, No. 21 N.C. State and No. 22 Duke.
The field also boasts 14 of the top-50 collegiate golfers in the nation.
"We played some good golf today," said Auburn head coach Nick Clinard. "We did have a couple three-putts down the stretch that cost us a few strokes. The weather turned on us in the middle of the round. The winds picked up and the temperature dropped by about 15 degrees. We probably finished the round in the mid-forties. The guys were resilient. Michael (Hebert) birdied the last two holes which was big for us."
Sophomore Blayne Barber finished the day in a three-way tie for the lead at 4-under with Wake Forest's Lee Bedford and N.C. State's Mitchell Sutton. The Lake City, Fla., native's 67 was his 12th round in the 60s this season and his lowest round since shooting a final round 65 en route to medalist honors at the 2010 Bridgestone Collegiate.
With the Tigers teeing off the back nine to start the day, Barber got off to a steady start, rattling off eight pars and sinking a birdie on No. 16. The front nine was where he made his run, picking up two quick birdies on holes 1 and 2 with another on No. 6.
Junior Cory Gilmer (70) is tied for 10th at 1-under. The Birmingham, Ala., native opened with pair of quick birdies on 10 and 12 and closed the remainder of the round with three birdies and four bogeys.
"Cory played well today," said Clinard. "He made five birdies for us and was under par all day. He's that kind of player if he believes in his game. He is a great ball striker. Blayne played his style of golf. He was definitely hitting his stride out there today."
Sophomore Michael Hebert (71) is tied for 19th followed by junior Kyle Kopsick (73) and freshman Niclas Carlsson (73) tied for 40th.
The Tigers will tee off in Monday's leaders group with Wake Forest and Augusta State, going off the front nine at 9:40 a.m. CST.
"It's a great pairing," said Clinard. "Augusta State has a lot of great players, as does Wake Forest. Both head coaches are good friends of mine. But it's not about those other schools, it's about us and doing what we do."
Texas A&M (282) is in fifth, followed by North Florida (287), Florida (288), N.C. State (288), Duke (288), Ole Miss (289), South Carolina (297), Kentucky (301), College of Charleston (306) and North Carolina (306).
Bulls Bay Golf Club and two-time Grammy award-winning band, Hootie & the Blowfish, host the annual tournament, which had its groundbreaking event in 2005.
Live results and complete tee times will be made available via www.GolfStat.com. Additional tournament information can be found at www.BullsBayGolf.com.
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