The regional will be held at the Grandover Resort East Course in Greensboro, N.C. on Thursday, May 17-19.
Of the 14 teams in the Greensboro Regional, four are ranked in the top 25.
“It is going to be a tough field,” said coach Nick Clinard. “I know that Duke has played at Grandover, but I don’t think that is much of an advantage. At the bottom of the field is SMU who has played well all year. Texas Tech is the No. 8 seed and they have already beaten us this year. We need to go out there and play with fire and stay on top of these teams.”
Auburn has made a NCAA Regional in the past three years under Clinard.
“For the guys that have played in one of these regionals, they know what they are all about,” Clinard said. “We have to come into our own skin and take it like any other tournament. We play to win and that is what we plan on doing in Greensboro.”
Clinard said his team is ignoring the top seed and looking to compete, regardless of predetermined ratings.
“It doesn’t mean much to us. It is always nice to be put in the spotlight with the top seed, but it is all the same,” Clinard said. “It doesn’t matter what seed you are, the ultimate goal is to go out there and win.”
Red shirt junior Blayne Barber leads the Tigers with a 70.66 stroke average, the lowest of all active SEC players and lowest single-season average since Buddy Gardner in 1976.
Barber said with teams like The University of Nevada, Las Vegas and The University of Florida make it tough to win, but it comes down to how well the team plays, regardless of the opponents.
“The biggest thing is to focus on winning this weekend and ignoring the next round,” Barber said. “Playing well is a result of the effort that we put in today, and it is more than just a singular effort.”
“Winning in golf is everyone playing their best at the same time. We have had some great preparation this past week or so, playing at the Auburn University Golf Club and FarmLinks in Sylacauga. We are ready for anything.”
Junior Dominic Bozzelli will be playing in his second NCAA Regional for the Tigers and said he plans to use last year’s loss for motivation.
“Years past do not do much for us,” Bozzelli said. “We all need to play better because everyone else will. It comes down to just taking care of business.”
Bozzelli has won twice this year, back-to-back at the U.S. Collegiate and the Gator Invitational.
Bozzelli said he will use the positives and negatives from those tournaments to prepare him for the Greensboro Regional.
“Drawing from experience and looking back at what we have done, we can use that to help our game,” Bozzelli said. “I need to get my swing ready, as well as everyone else. We are all pretty excited to go in there and prove to everyone what we can do.”
The top five teams and the lowest scoring individual player not on a top five team will qualify for the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., May 29-June 3.