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A spirit that is not afraid

Auburn Men’s Golf claims No. 1 overall seed in 2024 NCAA Tournament

<p>BIRMINGHAM, AL - SEPTEMBER 27 - Jackson Koivun during the match between the Auburn Tigers and the Vanderbilt Commodores at Country Club of Birmingham in Birmingham, AL on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023.</p>
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<p>Photo by Jamie Holt/Auburn Tigers</p>

BIRMINGHAM, AL - SEPTEMBER 27 - Jackson Koivun during the match between the Auburn Tigers and the Vanderbilt Commodores at Country Club of Birmingham in Birmingham, AL on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023.


Photo by Jamie Holt/Auburn Tigers

Fresh off the SEC Championship victory on Sunday at Sea Island Golf Club, Auburn Men’s Golf claimed the No. 1 overall seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament and will head to University Club in Baton Rouge, LA for the regional round from May 13-15.

“Super excited to be chosen and one overall,” said Auburn head coach Nick Clinard. “I think we've earned it. It wasn't given and now you go to Baton Rouge. It’s a hard golf course. It can get windy there. We obviously don't know the weather forecast yet, it’s too far out. But it's similar to the AU club which will be good. It'll be good preparation for us to get ready to go.”



As the top seed in the regional field, for the second consecutive season, the Tigers are joined by fellow power conference foes; Virginia (2), Texas Tech (3), Oregon (4), Duke (5), Ohio State (6), LSU (7), Louisville (8), Houston (9) and South Carolina (10). 

The five lowest teams and lowest individual from a team that doesn't advance will receive a spot in the National Championship at the Omni La Costa Champions Course, May 24-29, in San Diego, California.

“There's a lot of good teams, great coaches and a lot of great programs. Casey Martin at Oregon, Jamie Green at Duke, Texas Tech, Virginia and Ohio State. South Carolina is a ten seed and they're an SEC team. They're very good and they're gonna want to pay us back for beating them this past week,” Clinard said. 

In its 13 previous tournament berths under Clinard, Auburn has advanced to the national championship tournament 10 times.

Just like their recent SEC Championship run, the Tigers will continue to lean on their mix of young talent and veteran leadership with seniors J.M. Butler and Carson Bacha, junior Brendan Valdes and talented freshmen Jackson Koivun and Josiah Gilbert.

"We've got incredible depth," Clinard said. "We've got some guys that can flat-out play and play at a lot of different places around the country. I believe iron sharpens iron. They push each other and challenge each other. They've encouraged each other and support each other. It has really helped us as we've evolved as a team throughout the year. They're connectivity has been phenomenal as well. The more connected you are, the more committed you are."

Auburn’s freshmen duo of Koivun and Gilbert will enter their first NCAA Tournament after a week of Koivun winning the individual SEC Championship at 12-under par over three rounds and Gilbert defeating the top-ranked amateur in the country, Vanderbilt's Gordon Sargent, on Sunday in the championship round. 

“It's super exciting,” said Koivun. “I mean, you can always talk about winning a national championship but once you get there you just really have to perform and hopefully that's what we'll do during the next couple of weeks.”


Patrick Bingham | Sports Editor

Patrick is a sophomore from Auburn, Alabama, double majoring in journalism and marketing. He started with The Plainsman in fall 2022.


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