Cydney Clanton Ties for Third at NCAA Championship; Tigers Take 11th
May 21, 2010
WILMINGTON, N.C. - Junior Cydney Clanton turned in the lowest round in Auburn NCAA Championship history as she shot a 66 final round, posting a 7-under 281 four-day total and tying for third in the 2010 NCAA Championship. The fourth-ranked Auburn women's golf team posted an 11-over round in the final day of competition, bringing the team to a 31-over-par tournament total and tying for 11th to close the 2009-10 season.
The Tigers finished the tournament with a four-day total 1,183, which ranks as the second-lowest final score in Auburn's history at the NCAA Championship when played at 72 holes.
The NCAA Championship is a 72-hole stroke play event hosted by the University of North Carolina-Wilmington at the Country Club of Landfall. The par-72 course is playing at 6,368 yards for the four-day tournament.
The tournament field is made up of 24 teams and 126 players. The top eight teams from the three Regional Championships advanced to the championship round.
Starting the day from the No. 10 tee, the team held strong at 3-over-par on the first nine. However, the Tigers struggled to close out the day, posting an 8-over on the final nine holes of the season.
Auburn's highlight came from Clanton, as the junior posted the lowest round Auburn has seen in NCAA Championship history. The Concord, N.C., native carded a 6-under-par final round to finish the season tied for third individually.
"Great players stand up when they are supposed to and she made a big, big run for it," Auburn head coach Kim Evans said. "Her intention was to win this golf tournament and she went after it. I don't know if she will get NCAA Player of the Year, but she is one of the top two or three in the nation, so at least she gave herself a chance today and went after it. I could not be prouder of her.
"Everything was going right for her today, she just put together a game plan. You could tell this morning she was ready to play, she could not get out here quick enough. She left a lot out there all three days and she finally got one really good one."
The junior was flawless on the day, recording birdies on six of her first ten holes en route to a bogey-free round. With the team starting on the No. 10 tee, Clanton hit her stride on Nos. 14, 15 and 16, carding three-consecutive birdies to take her to 4-under on the day. After finding her final birdie on No. 1, Clanton rode a clean scorecard to the finish.
"I made a lot of putts on the front nine and struck the ball really well, and that gave me a lot of opportunities to make putts," Clanton noted. "I kept my patience and did not get ahead of myself, just taking it one shot at a time, but putting was the deal-breaker for me today."
Clanton's 6-under round is the lowest in Auburn's history at the NCAA Championship, besting the previous record by two strokes. She also tops the Auburn record books with her 281 tournament-total, which ranks as the lowest final score in Auburn's NCAA Championships history when playing at 72 holes. Her tie for third is the second-best individual finish in school history at the Championship, falling only to Danielle Downey's second-place tie in 2002.
Senior Candace Schepperle posted a 6-over final round, bringing her tournament total to an 8-over-par 296. The Birmingham native finished in a tie for 43rd.
Sophomore Patricia Sanz carded a 5-over final round to finish the tournament at 16-over par and tied for 86th, while fellow sophomore Haley Wilson posted a 6-over in the round to finish at 14-over-par and tied for 76th.
Freshman Carlie Yadloczky hit 8-over-par on the day, bringing the Auburn newcomer to a 29-over 317 tournament total. Yadloczky finished in 120th.
The Auburn squad had only two players with NCAA Championship experience, with Clanton and Schepperle being the only veterans.
"I would like to think that we could come here and play without experience and do the job, but we obviously needed it," Evans stated. "We are going to take it that next year we have that experience and hopefully they will work hard and get this going."
Though experience was a factor in this year's event, Evans mentioned that the team will be ready for another run at the title next year.
"We just never could get it going," Evans said. "We just have to go to the drawing board. This crew, all but Candace, return next year, and we have to get stronger."
Taking the title at the NCAA Championship was Purdue with a 1-over-par 1,153. Despite a 7-over final-round performance, the Boilermakers held off second-place Southern California to take the Championship. The Trojans (1,154) took second, with Southeastern Conference member Alabama (1,157) placing third. Arizona State (1,161) and Arizona (1,166) took fourth and fifth, respectively.
In the individual race, Oklahoma State's Caroline Hedwall took top honors, finishing at 12-over-par for the tournament after a 4-over final day. Her four consecutive under-par rounds proved to be unstoppable as she shot 70-70-68-68 to finish at 276.
Arizona State's Jennifer Johnson took second place with an 8-under 280, while Maude-Aimee LeBlanc of Purdue tied Auburn's Clanton for third at 7-under-par. Megan McChrystal of LSU and Jennifer Song of Southern California tied for fifth with 5-under tournament totals.
The 11th-place finish in the NCAA Championship is the end of the season for the Tigers. Four of Auburn's five golfers are expected to return for the 2010-11 year, with Schepperle being the lone senior on this year's squad.
WILMINGTON, N.C. - Final results from the NCAA Championship hosted by the University of North Carolina-Wilmington at the Country Club of Landfall. Par: 72. Yardage: 6,368.
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