Auburn goes low in second round of SEC Championship
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. --- Auburn found 12 birdies on the back nine on Thursday as the Tigers continued their strong play in the second round of the Southeastern Conference Men's Golf Championship at Sea Island Golf Club.
On the Seaside Course's par-70, 7,005-yard layout, the No. 13 Tigers posted a second-round loop of 11-under 269 for a 36-hole total of 19-under 541. Auburn is now nine ahead of Vanderbilt (550) and 10 beyond Georgia (551).
Following Friday's round, the top eight teams will advance to the match play portion of the tournament. The remainder of the top eight after Thursday was Tennessee and Texas A&M (both at 554), Arkansas and Kentucky (both at 555), and South Carolina (556). The individual medalist and the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year also will be recognized on Friday.
"I thought we played great again today," Auburn head coach Nick Clinard said. "Mindset is so important, and our guys came down here ready to go. Their state of mind in the practice round and now the first two rounds has been phenomenal. ... We got a nice, positive vibe over a 3-4-5-hole stretch on the back nine and one of the guys said, 'There's red everywhere.' We hit a lot of quality shots."
Greysen Huff paced Auburn on Thursday as he fired a 4-under 66. Jovan Rebula followed with a 3-under 67, and Trace Crowe and Jacob Solomon each signed for a 2-under 68.
Huff and Arkansas' Julian Perico are at the top of the individual leaderboard at 7-under 133. They are one clear of Texas A&M's Chandler Phillips. Huff made five birdies in the second round, including on Nos. 10, 13 and 14. Perico signed for a 3-under 67 on Thursday, including birdies on Nos. 12, 15, and 18.
"This is a demanding golf course toward the greens on the approach shots," Huff said. "But if you have a good feel and a number you like, sometimes you've just got to play to that number. If you have a good number, you've got confidence on that hole. And sometimes you just hit good shots."
"I think I am playing pretty good, just trying to keep the ball in front of me and attack when I have a good number to the pin," Perico said. "If the number is not quite the best, I'll just try to hit it to the flattest spot I can within 10-20 feet from the pin in the wider side of the green. I'm always waiting for the right moment to attack a hole location. It's all about keeping it in the fairway and taking advantage of the opportunities the course gives you."
The final round of stroke play will begin on Friday with tee times starting at 7:30 a.m.