April 12, 2006
FRANKLIN, Tenn. -
The fifth-ranked Auburn women's golf team will attempt to defend its league title April 14-16 at the SEC Championship at the Vanderbilt Legends Club's par 72, 6,217-yard Ironhorse Course.
Commenting on the team's excitement for the conference tournament, head coach Kim Evans said, "This is what they want. They are ready to get to the postseason and they know they can play well. There are a lot of great schools and they have to play their best to win, but they are up for the challenge."
Auburn, who won the 2005 title after a three-hole playoff with Georgia, will again have to contend with the Lady Bulldogs, who are ranked fourth in the latest Golfweek rankings. Also ranked in the top 20 are No. 9 Arkansas, No. 11 Tennessee, No. 15 Vanderbilt and No. 16 Florida.
Senior Maria Martinez leads all conference golfers with a No. 4 national ranking, including a 71.75 average on the year. The Tiger leader has won two tournaments this season and was named the SEC Golfer of the Week on March 15.
The Tigers' lineup will consist of Martinez, junior Nicole Hage, sophomore Margaret Shirley, junior Jessica Lovell and sophomore Abigale Schepperle.
The Tigers have now won five SEC Championships (1989, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2005), the last four coming under Evans. Auburn has also earned four individual champions with the last coming from Danielle Downey in 2000.
Auburn is set to tee off with Georgia and Arkansas Friday morning at 9:15 a.m. CT on the first hole. Live action will be posted on www.golfstat.com and daily updates can be found on www.auburntigers.com.