AUBURN - The third-ranked Auburn women's golf team will open its 2010 spring season this week as the Tigers travel to Tucson, Ariz., to compete in the Wildcat Invitational.
The Wildcat Invitational is hosted by the University of Arizona and will be played at the par-71, 6,146 yard Arizona National Golf Club in Tucson, Ariz.
The Arizona National Golf Club is a familiar course for the Tigers, as they competed in the Wildcat Invitational in 2008, taking a ninth-place finish after the three-day event.
"I like the course," Auburn head coach Kim Evans noted. "It's a really good golf course that requires you to stay to a game plan and I think we have a very mature team to do that."
In last year's Wildcat Invitational, which took place in Mexico, UCLA took top honors with an 5-over-par 869, while Lizette Salas (Southern
California) and Jodi Edwart (New Mexico) shared the individual honors with their 213 (-3) finishes.
After a nearly two-month break from competition, Auburn is ready to get back to the links.
"We're excited to go. It's been a long two months getting ready for this," Evans said. "We are just excited to go and to compete and to play a few rounds."
The Tigers finished the fall in impressive form, taking top-three finishes in all four of the fall events. Evans and the rest of the squad, however, are keeping their eyes forward and focused.
"I know how well they did and they know how well they did. But, for us, it's all about this tournament and this tournament only," Evans said. "We are not looking back and we are not looking ahead, we are looking toward this Monday and Tuesday."
Competing for the Auburn will be senior Candace Schepperle, redshirt junior Karlin Beck, junior Cydney Clanton, and sophomores Patricia Sanz and Haley Wilson. Freshman Carlie Yadloczky will also be competing as an individual.
The Tigers will be led by Clanton, who took top-five finishes in all fall events, including two overall victories at the Hooters Collegiate Match Play Qualifying and the NCAA Fall Preview. Schepperle is another strong competitor for the team, as she earned top-10 honors in three of the four fall tournaments.
The third-ranked squad will have its hands full with a difficult field that features six top-10 teams and 11 top-25 teams in the most recent Golf World/NGCA Golf Coaches' Poll.
"We are playing against a great field," Evans said. "Some of the best teams in the country will be there including several top-10 and top-25 teams. But, it is fun to go out west and compete against those types of teams as well as several teams from the east."
The first and second rounds will take place on Monday with an 8 a.m. shotgun start. The final round will be played on Tuesday with another early morning start.
Other teams competing in the 2010 Wildcat Invitational are Arizona (19), Arizona State (1), California (16), Denver (15), Duke (5), New Mexico, Oklahoma State (22), Oregon, Pepperdine (10), Stanford (25), Tennessee (8), Tulane, UNLV, Southern California (6) and Washington.