Carlsson leads Auburn to dominant spring season
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Led by senior Niclas Carlsson, the Auburn Tigers have flown under the radar for a good portion of the spring season.
Since February’s Amer Ari Invitational in Waikoloa, Hawaii, the team has won three tournaments in seven starts.
Carlsson, No. 63 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, has led the Tigers with five top-5 finishes in their seven spring starts, including a tie for first at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Invitational.
“He’s playing great,” Auburn head coach Nick Clinard said. “The team has played well all spring, too, but Nic has been our senior leader.”
The native of Sweden also was one of only four players at the SEC Championship on Sea Island’s Seaside course to shoot in the 60s all three rounds.
“I thought it went pretty well overall,” Carlsson said. “I struck the ball well all week. It was shame I finished with two bogeys.”
In last week’s SEC Championship, the Tigers finished in third place for the third straight season. Auburn beat two highly ranked teams in No. 3 Georgia and No. 10 Texas A&M, while also defeating No. 19 South Carolina.
“I think we played pretty well, so we should be happy with a third-place finish here,” Carlsson said. “There are a lot of good teams and it means a lot going into regionals.”
Auburn, 24th in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, has an advantage heading into NCAA regional play May 15-17. The Tigers get to host a regional at own Auburn (Ala.) University Club.
“We know the golf course and are comfortable in our environment,” Clinard said. “At the end of the day there are a lot of great teams and a lot of great coaches and players, so we’re going to have to play well and have a chance to win a golf tournament.”
The team is looking to advance to the NCAA Championship for its third consecutive year.
“We play that course all the time and we know it inside and out,” Carlsson said. “I think if all of us play well, we’re going to have a good chance of advancing.”