|2016-17 Auburn Women's Golf - SEC Championship|
|Dates||Friday-Sunday, April 21-23|
|Location||Greystone Golf & Country Club - Legacy (Par 72, 6,202 yards) | Birmingham, Ala.|
|Format||54-hole medal play; four individual scores count toward team total|
|Field||Auburn, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt|
|Online||Live Scoring | Twitter: @AuburnWGolf | Auburn Notes | Auburn Season Stats|
|Tee Times|| Friday: 8:00 a.m. CT
AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn women’s golf team will make its 33rd appearance in the SEC Women’s Golf Championship this week at Greystone Golf & Country Club in Birmingham. The tournament runs Friday-Sunday, and admission is free.
“They’re excited, they’re ready to go,” Auburn head coach Melissa Luellen said of her team’s preparation for this week’s championship. “They’re hitting great shots. At the same time, we’ve really attacked each tournament as one tournament and an opportunity to get better."
This is the fifth consecutive year for Greystone to host the event, and the tournament will be played on the Legacy Course for the third straight year. The course will be set up at par 72, 6,202 yards.
“With Birmingham being just a couple of hours away… the terrain is very similar (to Auburn)," Luellen said. "It’s a beautiful golf course that rewards good shots, and with the weather we’ve had recently, I think it will be in fantastic condition.”
Auburn’s lineup will consist of freshmen Elena Hualde and Kayley Marschke, juniors Kelli Murphy and Michaela Owen, and sophomore Melanie Talbott. Murphy will be making her third SEC Championship appearance; Owen and Talbott will be playing at Greystone for the second time, and Hualde and Marschke are making their SEC Championship debuts.
Hualde is Auburn’s scoring leader for the season with a 72.81 scoring average. She has earned two tournament victories and has played 14 of her 26 rounds this season at even par or better. Owen and Murphy are close behind with averages of 73.85 and 73.96, respectively. Owen has 10 rounds at par or better this season, and Murphy has the Tigers’ low round of the year, a 7-under-par 65 in the first round of the Pinehurst Challenge in October.
Auburn has won nine SEC titles with the last coming in 2012. Last year, Auburn finished 13th at the SEC Championship; Murphy was the Tigers’ top individual, tying for 31st place.
Tee times and pairings will be announced later Thursday. Live scoring is available at golfstatresults.com.
AUBURN AT THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP
• Auburn has won nine SEC Championships, claiming the title in 1989, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2012.
• Auburn’s nine titles are the second-most by any team in the league, and the seven championships since 2000 are the most by any SEC team.
• This is head coach Melissa Luellen’s second appearance in the SEC Championship.
• Six Auburn individuals have won the SEC title: Margaret Platt (1987), Diane Rama (1989), Marci Clemons (1996), Danielle Downey (2000), Maria Martinez (2006) and Patricia Sanz (2012).
THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD
• The SEC has proven to once again be one of the top conferences in the nation for women’s golf as five of the 14 teams are ranked in the nation’s top 20 (according to Golfstat) and eight of 14 are in the top 50.
• Alabama leads the way at No. 1, followed by Georgia (6), Florida (8), South Carolina (11), Arkansas (13), Texas A&M (20), Tennessee (32) and Auburn (39).
AUBURN AGAINST THE FIELD
• Auburn has faced 11 of the 13 teams in this week’s field so far this season, compiling an 10-17-2 mark against those teams.
• Auburn owns a .500 or better record against five teams.
• The Tigers have the following records against SEC opponents: Alabama (0-3), Arkansas (1-3-1), Florida (0-1), Georgia (0-3), Kentucky (1-0), LSU (1-1), Mississippi State (2-2), South Carolina (1-1-1), Tennessee (1-2), Texas A&M (0-1) and Vanderbilt (3-0).
• Auburn has not faced Ole Miss or Missouri this season.
• The Greystone Golf & Country Club Legacy Course is a par-72, 18-hole private course located in Birmingham, Ala. The course, designed by Rees Jones, will play to 6,195 yards for the SEC Championship.
IN THE RANKINGS
• Auburn enters the SEC Championship ranked No. 39 by both Golfweek and Golfstat.
• Individually, freshman Elena Hualde is Auburn’s top-ranked player at No. 80 in Golfweek and No. 122 from Golfstat.
• Auburn’s two freshmen - Elena Hualde and Kayley Marschke - have made an immediate impact on the program this season.
• Both have been named SEC Freshman of the Week this season: Hualde after her tournament win at the Auburn-Tennessee Challenge in February, and Marschke after going 3-0 in match play at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic.
• Hualde has two tournament victories this season - the season-opening Fall Kickoff in September and the Auburn-Tennessee Challenge in February. She is believed to be the first Auburn women’s golfer to win in her first collegiate tournament.
• Hualde leads the Tigers with a 72.81 scoring average, which currently ranks as the sixth-best single-season average in program history. She has 14 of her 26 rounds this season at par or better, including eight rounds under par. She has finished four tournaments under par this year.
• Marschke has played in nine of 10 team events this season and has a 74.40 scoring average. Her 3-0 record in match play - including a huge comeback against USC - helped the Tigers finish fifth at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic.
• Juniors Michaela Owen and Kelli Murphy have provided steady play all season with nearly identical scoring averages.
• Owen is second on the team with a 73.85, and Murphy is close behind with a 73.96; both have played in all 10 team events this season.
• Owen earned top-20 finishes in each of her first five events and has six this year, including a pair of top-10s at the Cougar Classic and the Pinehurst Challenge. Along with Hualde, she is tied for the team lead with eight rounds under par this year.
• Murphy owns Auburn’s low individual round and team total of the season as she shot a first-round 65 and finished with a 209 (-7) at the Pinehurst Challenge, finishing as runner-up. Her 65 was the third such round in Auburn history and tied for the second-lowest score by a Tiger.
• Sophomore Melanie Talbott missed the entire fall season while recovering from offseason knee surgery, but made the most of her return by winning the Samford Spring Shootout in February. Playing as an individual, she shot 74-71=145 (+1) to win by two shots.