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Head Coach Nick Clinard Previews Spring Season
Head Coach Nick Clinard

Feb. 1, 2013

On how the team played during the fall season...
"The benefit and the positive of the fall is that we got to play eight guys. We have 10 guys on the team and eight of them saw action, so I think that is a good sign for the spring and next year as well. I thought we were very inconsistent. We were up and down. We had some good events, but we had a hard time putting 18 holes together. As a team, we would play well for 12 or 15 holes and then not play well at the end and not finish strong. The guys have been working hard over the break. Some of them got out and competed, so we are looking forward to a long spring. We will be playing in seven tournaments, so hopefully we can be successful."

On how the team has prepared during the break for the spring season...
"It has gone well. During the offseason, we can't really do any type of practicing. We do a lot of conditioning work in the weight room so we can get a little bit stronger and more flexible and get more mobility in our bodies. The guys were working hard out there on their own. They were out over the break, and I think we had six or seven guys competing in events, which is a great sign because I think it is going to help them for the first tournament of the year."

On playing in the Amer Ari Invitational and being able to spend a week in Hawaii...
"The negative is that we will miss a lot of class. The guys probably like that, but the coaches are always a little bit worried about that. It is a great tournament with a great field. Obviously it is Hawaii, so there will be palm trees and sunshine. I know the players are looking forward to it. Qualifying has been pretty competitive. Guys have been amped up to try and get into that lineup to go to Hawaii. We will do some sightseeing and relax. We will also attend a luau so they will be able to experience some Hawaiian culture, which I think is important. They will get to see what Hawaii is all about."

On being able to host a tournament at Grand National in Opelika that is sponsored by Jason Dufner...
"Jason Dufner and I teamed up together, and he is a great supporter of Auburn in general and of our program, to come up with this event at Grand National at the Lake Course. It is a great venue and always in great shape. They have hosted the Nike Tour Championships twice which is now the Tour, the NCAA Championship in 2000, NCAA Regionals twice in 1994 and 2004, so they have hosted world class events. It is a great field for our first year. We are looking forward to hosting it and competing in it. Jason is going to try to be there for a Sunday night dinner and do a Q&A. His schedule is fluid with his PGA Tour schedule, but he is going to fly in from one of his stops in Florida. It is something that I think is very dear to his heart. He wants to get back into collegiate golf. He loves Auburn, and this is something that he wants to grow as well."

On the progression that Jake Mondy has made since last year...
"He is a dynamic player. He is probably one of the longest hitters we have in terms of ball speed and club head speed. He is very athletic. He has been working on his swing a lot. He has some work to do to become a more consistent player and play at the highest level which he wants to do. He realizes that. It is a process, and he is starting to realize that it takes a lot of patience and trust. He just has to keep chipping away. He is doing well."

On Michael Hebert leading the team in scoring during the fall...
"He is a very consistent player. He is a very good ball striker. He brings a lot to the table. He is one of the top amateurs in the world rankings. He had a lot of success during the summer time. We look forward to watching him playing very well. He is one of the hardest working players that we have, too. I will get to work at 7:30 in the morning, and he is already out there hitting balls."

On Michael Johnson finishing the fall with back-to-back second place finishes...
"I think him playing a lot last year was beneficial. He was an All-SEC type player. He came out strong in the fall and finished really well in the last two events. He is a very talented young man. He has really grown up a lot. He is very mature now compared to where he was a year and a half ago. He is on a better plan in terms of how he wants to be successful, and he is following that plan. I think he is going have a very bright future over the next two and half years."



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