Auburn Golf Ready For The 2010 SEC Championships
April 15, 2010
AUBURN - The Auburn men's golf team is set for action at the 2010 SEC Championship, held Friday through Sunday at the par 70, 7,055-yard Seaside Course in Sea Island, Ga.
The Tigers, led by first-year head coach Nick Clinard, will look to continue their strong run of form since the winter break. In that time, Auburn has posted four top-three finishes that included two team and two individual titles.
Sophomore John Stembridge's victory at last week's Bluegrass Invitational marked the first time in school history three separate Auburn golfers claimed medalist honors in the same season.
"We've seen these teams all year," said Auburn head coach Nick Clinard. "It all comes down to confidence and managing your game through the weekend. This is just another tournament to get better as a team. The ultimate goal we have as a team is contending for championships. That is the goal we have set for ourselves over the next few years. We will continue working towards that.
"This team has dedicated themselves to a common goal and shown tremendous work ethic through the season. I think their progression as the season has passed really shows their hard work and how it is paying dividends."
Sophomore Kyle Kopsick will tee off for the Tigers in the top spot with a team-leading, 72.53, scoring average. The Chicago native fired school records in 18- and 54-hole scoring en route to medalist honors at the 2009 Gary Koch Invitational. Kopsick also leads all Tigers in sub-par rounds (8) and rounds in the 60s (7). Through 11 events this season, Kopsick has recorded five top-10 and nine top-25 finishes.
Auburn's lone contributing upperclassman, Cole Moreland, tees off in the No. 2 spot for Auburn after leading the team in rounds counted with 23-of-24 (.958) through nine events. Moreland ranks second on the team with a 2009-10 scoring average of 72.67 and is tied for second with four top-10 showings. Moreland's highest finish came at the Border Olympics where the Austin, Texas, native placed seventh.
Sophomore Will McCurdy will play the No. 3 position for Auburn this weekend with a 2009-10 scoring average of 73.20. The Fort Payne, Ala., native became the first Auburn golfer since 2001 to record four consecutive top-10 finishes with a run that included three top-three finishes during spring play. McCurdy currently leads the Tigers in top-five finishes (3) and ranks second in top-20s (8).
Stembridge will play the No. 4 spot for the Tigers followed by sophomore David Zickler in fifth.
Come Friday, Auburn will boast the only squad to have all five competitors ranked in the SECs top-25 scoring average rankings with Kopsick in 11th, Moreland in 14th, Stembridge in 18th, McCurdy in 19th and Zickler in 24th.
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.
"This is a phenomenal course," said Clinard. "If the wind doesn't blow, it's a very scoreable course. The greens, the fairways, everything is in perfect shape. If we continue to drive the ball well and putt like we know we can, we have a great chance of shooting low this weekend."
The 2010 edition will mark Auburn's 48th appearance in the SEC Championship, with an overall record of 281-161-2 (.634) The Tigers have captured the title on three occasions (1976, 1981 and 2002) and have produced four individual medalists.
Auburn will be first out of the gates Friday, teeing off the front nine with No. 9 South Carolina and No. 23 Alabama at 8:00 a.m. EST.
Live results and tee times will be available via www.GolfStat.com
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