May 14, 2013
AUBURN – The No. 18 Auburn men’s golf team will play in the NCAA Columbus Regional Thursday through Saturday at the Ohio State Golf Club’s Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio. The Tigers are making their 22nd overall appearance in the last 24 years as fourth year head coach Nick Clinard has led the Tigers to four-straight NCAA Regional appearances.
The field features 13 teams and 10 individuals with the top five teams and the low individual not on those teams qualifying for the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship at the Capital City Club in Atlanta, Ga., May 28-June 2. Four teams in the Columbus Regional are ranked in the Golfstat Rankings including No. 6 New Mexico, No. 8 Stanford and No. 20 South Carolina.
“The guys have worked hard, and they deserve this,” Clinard said. “The Scarlet Course is a great venue for us. It is a tough test, but it is fair. It is right there in front of you. The biggest thing we need to worry about is getting better. We do need to get lost in the process. We need to improve and become better players and a better team. Results will take care of themselves if you do that. I think we have a good chance to win. We are there to win. This is a business trip for us. We are looking forward to it.”
Senior Michael Hebert will be in the No. 1 spot for the Tigers coming off a tie for fifth at the SEC Championship. The All-SEC Second Team selection has led Auburn in scoring throughout the year with a 72.67 and set an Auburn school SEC Championship recording after shooting a 66 in the first round. Hebert paces Auburn in rounds at par or better with 15 and sub-par rounds with 11.
Junior Niclas Carlsson will be in the No. 2 position after a tie for 15th at the SEC Championship. Carlsson is fifth on the team in scoring at 73.63. The Enebyberg, Sweden native won his third career tournament at the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate and has posted four top-25 finishes.
Senior Dominic Bozzelli is in the third spot for Auburn following his team-high seventh top-20 finish at the SEC Championship. Bozzelli won his third tournament of his career to begin the spring season at the Amer Ari Invitational.
Sophomore Michael Johnson will be in the fourth position and is second on the team in scoring at 73.15. Johnson has placed in the top-20 six times including back-to-back runner-up finishes at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate and the U.S. Collegiate. Johnson also tied for seventh at the Samford Intercollegiate.
“The golf course is really good. It is pretty straight forward,” Johnson said.” There is nothing tricky. It is right there in front of you. There is a Web.com Tour event there so it has to be a good course. The teams we are playing against are teams we have played against all year, so there aren’t many surprises. We just have to play well.”
Rounding out the Tigers’ lineup is All-SEC freshman Jake Mondy. The Blacksburg, Va. native is fourth on the team in scoring at 73.62 and has a team-high five rounds in the 60s. Mondy won his first collegiate tournament in his first start at The McLaughlin and has six top-25 finishes this season.
“I think you can expect us to put together four good scores together each day,” Mondy said. “All of us have been playing pretty well. The seniors are really playing well and Michael Johnson and I are getting into the swing of things. The course fits most of our games pretty well, and the weather is supposed to be decent so that helps. I think you can expect a good showing from us.”
At the 1995 National Championship held at the Scarlet Course, Auburn’s Chip Spratlin won the NCAA Championship, defeating Arizona’s Ted Purdy and Oklahoma State’s Chris Tidland by a single stroke.
Auburn is slated to tee off at 7:00 a.m. CT on Thursday with New Mexico and Stanford. Live stats can be found online on www.golfstat.com. More information on the Columbus Regional is available on the tournament central page at http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/sports/m-golf/spec-rel/ncaa-regional-2013.html.