“It is just amazing,” said coach Kim Evans. “We have won a few of these, but this one is one of the most important. I could not be happier for the team. They played their hearts out and never quit. On a golf course as tough as this one, that’s what it took to win.”
Last year the Tigers won the SEC Championship with a weekend score of even-par at the Auburn University Club. Blessings Golf Course in Fayetteville played much tougher. The course gave teams fits each round and played even tougher with heavy winds affecting play each day.
“Everyone tells you that it is a tough golf course and you don’t believe it until you get here and play it,” Evans said. “With the wind today, it really made it tough. I was so proud of our players for keeping their heads up and taking it one hole at a time; that was so important today.”
Auburn started the final round with a one-stroke lead over host Arkansas and finished the day holding that same one-stroke margin.
The Tigers lost the lead early on the back nine to the Razorbacks, but recovered to finish with a total of 52-over for the weekend.
Senior Patricia Sanz made her first career tournament win count, winning the individual title with a tournament score of 3-over par.
Sanz also fought to the 18th hole, as she finished one stroke ahead of Marina Alex of Vanderbilt and two ahead of Emily Tubert of Arkansas.
The senior’s final round 77 was four below the final-round average of 81.
“I could not be happier for Patti; she has worked so hard this year and to win this tournament is amazing for her,” Evans said. “After a few holes on the practice round day, I pulled her aside and told her that this course really played to her style and that this was her time. She really took that to heart and had a great three days.”
Sanz finished tied for 14th last year in the SEC tournament and tied for sixth as a freshman.
“I’m the happiest person in the world,” Sanz said. “This came at the best time. I’m a senior; our team won; I just couldn’t have asked for anything better. To accomplish it is amazing. This is one of the most important tournaments we play all year. I’ve been struggling some this season and the coaches believed me. I kept reminding myself to stay positive, stay in the present and remember that this is a hard course for everyone.”
Auburn’s next tournament will be May 3–5, and the location will be announced Monday when the NCAA regionals are selected.