April 19, 2012
2012 SEC Championship Notes
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – The third-ranked Auburn men’s golf team will travel to St. Simons Island, Ga., to compete in the 2012 SEC Championship at the Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course Friday through Sunday. The field features five teams ranked in the top-25 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings including No. 2 Alabama, No. 9 Arkansas, No. 17 LSU, and No. 23 Florida.
The Tigers have posted a 20-2-1 mark so far this season against the SEC, with their only blemishes coming against Alabama.
“Sea Island is a wonderful venue for our conference championship,” head coach Nick Clinard said. “The guys are excited about competing, and we look forward to the challenge. We will need to play with a lot of maturity and patience to have success this week.”
Junior Blayne Barber tops the Auburn lineup and enters the tournament as the leading active scorer in the conference with a round average of 70.92, which is just .02 strokes off the school record set by Buddy Gardner in 1976. Barber, who was named a Ben Hogan Award Semifinalist, has finished in the top-5 five times this season, including two second place finishes at the E-Z-GO Schenkel Invitational and at the Hootie at Bulls Bay.
Senior Will McCurdy will play in the No. 2 position for the Tigers coming off his fifth top-20 of the season. The Fort Payne, Ala., native ranks 11th in the conference in scoring average at 72.00. McCurdy’s best finish came in Auburn’s win at the Hootie at Bulls Bay finishing in fourth place at 3-under.
Niclas Carlsson will compete in the third spot this weekend and is 12th in the conference in scoring at 72.04. Carlsson picked up his second-career individual victory at the Hootie at Bulls Bay after shooting a 70-70-71—211 (-5). Carlsson has finished in the top-10 three times this season with a tied for sixth finish at the Gator Invitational and a tied for eighth at the Desert Intercollegiate.
Junior Dominic Bozzelli will play at the No. 4 position coming off a tied for 15th finish at the Gary Koch Invitational. Bozzelli became the first Auburn golfer in history to win back-to-back tournaments after winning medalist honors at the U.S. Collegiate and the Gator Invitational. So far on the season, Bozzelli has finished in the top-20 four times.
Rounding out the Tigers’ lineup is true freshman Michael Johnson, who has finished in the top-20 three times season including a tied for third finish at the U.S. Collegiate. The Birmingham, Ala., native ranks third on the team in rounds counted this season, and has also fired 10 rounds at par or better.
Live scoring for the tournament can be found on www.Golfstat.com.