April 16, 2010
SEA ISLAND, Ga. - The Auburn men's golf team (280) shot even-par and is tied for second after Friday's opening 18 holes of the 2010 SEC Championships at the par-70, 7,055 Seaside Course in Sea Island, Ga.
Tied with No. 8 Florida (280), the Tigers trail tournament leader Arkansas (278) by only two strokes.
Senior Cole Moreland (69) and sophomore Will McCurdy (69) are tied for fourth, followed by sophomore David Zickler (70) tied for 14th. Sophomores Kyle Kopsick (72) and John Stembridge (72) are tied for 30th.
"We played well today," said Auburn head golf coach Nick Clinard. "We lost a couple strokes to some bogeys on the last hole of the day, but we are in great position heading into tomorrow. You always would rather be leading but we are in great shape. There's still a lot of golf left. If we take care of business and play like we know we can, we can make a run for the lead tomorrow."
The Tigers were shooting their lowest through No. 11, counting a combined score of 3-under. The par-4, 415-yard 11th was the most generous hole for the Tigers on Friday with Moreland, McCurdy and Stembridge each firing birdies.
"It wasn't windy at all today," said Clinard. "There were a few light breezes on the last six or seven holes, but overall the course was very scoreable."
Moreland and McCurdy will enter Saturday's second round in a 10-way tie for fourth, two strokes off the individual lead.
Moreland started the day hot, making the turn at 3-under with birdies on holes 2, 7 and 9. The Austin, Texas, native lost two strokes on the back nine, but finished the day at 1-under, parring out the final four holes of the day.
McCurdy made the turn at 1-over after a bogey on 3 but fought his way to 1-under with birdies on 11 and 16.
Coming in at even-par, Zickler fought through an up-and-down round that included four birdies and four bogeys. The Florence, Ala., native was 2-under through four holes but slipped to 1-over by the turn. Zickler bookended his back nine with birdies to finish the day at 70, preventing the Tigers from carding three rounds over par.
The Seaside Course, designed by famed course designer Thomas Fazio, was the site of Auburn's 2002 SEC Championship victory, as well as Patton Kizzire's 2007 individual title.
The 2010 championships mark Auburn's 48th appearance in the event, with an overall record of 281-161-2 (.634). The Tigers have captured the title on three occasions (1976, 1981 and 2002) and produced four individual medalists.
No.11 South Carolina (282) and Mississippi State (282) finished the day tied for fourth followed by No. 15 Georgia (283), Tennessee (283), LSU (283), Vanderbilt (284), Ole Miss (288), Kentucky (296) and Alabama (297).
Georgia's Bryden Macpherson (67) and Arkansas' Dalton Owens (67) are tied for the individual lead.
The Tigers tee off the front nine at 8:50 a.m. EST with Arkansas and Florida.