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May 16, 2024

Auburn advances to men’s national tourney, Alabama falls short

By Alabama Golf News Staff
Auburn men's team goes to NCAA championship

Crimson Tide men fall a stroke short

Auburn’s men’s golf team will join its women’s team in competing for NCAA championships, while the Alabama men’s team fell one shot short of advancing in postseason play.

Just a week after the Tigers women’s team punched its ticket to the national championship, the top-ranked Tigers’ men’s team did the same by winning the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional in dominating fashion.

The regional win was the sixth consecutive tournament title as Auburn shot 20-under-par 268 in the final round to zoom past Virginia.

The 30 advancing teams from six regional sites head to Carlsbad, California for a shot at a national title May 24-29. The Omni La Costa Champions Course hosts this year’s NCAA championship event.

“So incredibly proud of the hunger and competitive energy from this group,” Tigers head coach Nick Clinard said. “Their goal from the first tee shot was to win it. They found a way to stay patient when putts weren’t falling or they didn’t have their best stuff, and when it mattered, they delivered. We’re excited to head to California and end a great season competing for a national championship.”

For the week, the Tigers shot 843 (-21), winning the regional by eight strokes. It is the first time in program history with regional victories in back-to-back seasons.

Auburn’s top individual of the tournament was junior Brendan Valdes. He finished tied for second with a total score of 6-under 210. His surge up the leaderboard was assisted by a clutch, 6-under 66 in the final round.

“It builds so much confidence for us knowing that we needed a great round today to secure a win and that’s exactly what we got,” Valdes said. “I think our game is in a really good place right now, and I’m excited to take that into nationals. We’re going to be ready to do whatever it takes.”

Auburn’s freshman duo, Jackson KoivunandJosiah Gilbert, both ended the tournament at 5-under, good for fifth place finishes.

Gilbert cruised to his third top five finish with a final round 67.

Senior J.M. Butler delivered a 5-under 67 Wednesday to surpass Jovan Rebula (2016-21) and set the new school record with 46 career rounds carded in the 60s.

Also advancing alongside the Tigers are No. 12 Virginia, No. 14 Texas Tech, Ohio State and LSU.

Crimson Tide men won’t be at NCAA final

Ninth-ranked Alabama carded the second-lowest team score Wednesday at the Chapel Hill Regional but fell one shot short of advancing to the men’s national championship tournament. The Crimson Tide closed the three-day event in sixth place overall with a 14-under par 826 (276-277-273), just one stroke behind Baylor for the fifth and final qualifying spot.

Alabama shot 7-under 276 in the final round, tying NCAA North Carolina and Georgia Tech for the second-lowest round of the day. VCU finished at 13-under in the final round.

Canon Claycomb led Alabama as he tied for eighth place (-8) while Thomas Ponder (-7) finished a shot back and tied for 12th overall in what would ultimately be their final event for the Crimson Tide.

“We had four seniors out there today and I thought our guys did an amazing job this week,” coach Jay Seawell said.

“We were behind the eight-ball coming into today and we just kept fighting. I am absolutely heartbroken for these guys. It hurts right now. This team fought their tails off all season and were able to achieve a lot of things this year. They tried to write their own legacy and they definitely did. How they handled themselves through all the adversity made me very proud to be their coach – one of the proudest I’ve ever been of any team I’ve ever coached. The end of the year always stinks but these four seniors really played their tails off today and gave us a chance to make it to national championship.”

Clemson, which came into the regional ranked No. 59 in the nation, won the regional at 25-under par, one shot better than East Tennessee State (-24). Regional-host and No. 1 seed North Carolina (-20) finished third with Georgia Tech (-17) and Baylor (-15) securing the final two qualifying spots.

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Featured image courtesy of Auburn Athletics

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