Feb. 26, 2011
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AUBURN - The No. 8 Auburn men's golf team opens play Sunday in the three-day, 54-hole John Hayt Collegiate at the Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
"The John Hayt Invitational always has a great field," said Auburn head coach Nick Clinard. "It's one of the best tournaments of the spring and on a very good golf course. You never know what you're going to get weather wise because it's right on the ocean and you can get some pretty strong breezes blowing."
Auburn currently ranks second in the nation in Golfstat's adjusted scoring average ratings and leads the SEC, averaging 282.67 strokes per round. With a 2010-11 record of 52-7, the Tigers have out shot the competition by a total of 1,493 strokes after finishing the 2009-10 season at 344.
"We have some great players and some great talent," said Clinard. "They've worked hard to develop that talent, as well. We're just trying to make sure we guide them in the right way and teach them how to practice. All the credit goes back to them. They've worked hard and they deserve the success they're having."
After picking up his fourth top-five finish at the Gator Invitational, Barber was named to the Ben Hogan Award watch list by the Golf Coaches Association of America. The Lake City, Fla, native ranks sixth nationally with a 70.07 scoring average. Carlsson ranks 11th in the country, averaging 70.42 while Hebert is tied for 23rd at 70.67. The trio rank second, third and fourth within the conference.
The John Hayt will feature another matchup between the Tigers and third-ranked Florida. Auburn knocked off top-ranked Florida en route to a team championship at the Jerry Pate National earlier this season. At the Gator Invitational, the Tigers fell to Florida at their home tournament after nearly finding a lead late in the final round.
Also competing at the John Hayt will be No. 10 LSU, Central Florida, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Jacksonville, Mercer, Ole Miss, North Florida, TCU, Tennessee, Tulsa and UAB.