Men's preview: No. 11 Auburn
In preparation for the upcoming college season, Golfweek is breaking down the rosters of each of its preseason top 30 teams.
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2011-2012 Golfweek rank: 5
Go-to-guy: Dominic Bozzelli
Season outlook: Auburn won three tournaments and finished in the top 3 in every event during the 2011-12 regular season, which also included a runner-up finish at the SEC Championship, a T-15 at the NCAA Championship and a top-5 national ranking.
However, repeating that success will be tough considering the Tigers lost first-team All-American Blayne Barber, the school’s career leader in stroke average, to the professional ranks. But Auburn does return four of its top six scorers from last season, including Dominic Bozzelli, who last season became the first player in school history to win medalist honors at consecutive tournaments (U.S. Collegiate, Gator Invitational). He also successfully defended his New York State Amateur in July.
Bozzelli was not the only returnee who had a strong summer. Senior Michael Hebert advanced to the Round of 32 at the U.S. Amateur and posted top 3s at the Northeast Amateur and Players Amateur. Redshirt freshman Jake Mondy won the Virginia State Amateur. And sophomore Michael Johnson won the Greystone Invitational.
Junior Niclas Carlsson, who posted a 72.79 stroke average in 33 rounds last season, also will have an impact.