No. 1 Auburn survives first cut at NCAA Championship

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Todd Drexler - www.sesportsmedia.com

CARLSBAD, Calif. – A third consecutive round of 5-over 293 on Sunday was enough to keep No. 1 Auburn men’s golf above the first cutline and advance to the fourth round of stroke play at the 2024 NCAA Championship hosted at the Omni La Costa Champions Course.
 
After 54 holes of play, Auburn stands tied for sixth place at 15-over. The Tigers are 17 shots back of the lead and 12 shots ahead of the first cut, which came at 27-over.
 
“I think we’re still hitting too many sloppy shots,” Tigers head coach Nick Clinard said. “We’ve got to be more disciplined with our targets and sight lines coming into the greens. It’s a tough golf course, but I think it was more scorable today than to the last two days, and we didn’t take advantage of it.”
 
For Monday’s fourth round, Auburn plays with Florida and Arizona and will tee off from the 10th hole at 1:51 p.m. CT. To survive the next cut and advance to match play, the Tigers need a top eight finish.
 
Sunday’s heroes were the Orange & Blue’s dynamic freshmen, Josiah Gilbert and Jackson Koivun. Gilbert supplied Auburn’s lone subpar round of the day with a 1-under 71. He finished strong with four pars and two birdies over his final six holes. Koivun carded an even 72. He matched three bogeys with birdies on 1, 15 and 17.
 
Senior J.M. Butler and junior Carson Bacha came in with a pair of 3-over 75s. Butler made two birdies, 15 and 18, bringing his career tally to 530, which is good for third in program history behind Matt Gilchrest’s 533 and Jovan Rebula’s 543.
 
Junior Brendan Valdes was Auburn’s drop score Saturday. He shot 4-over 76.
 
Teams failing to advance to the fourth round were No. 20 California, Clemson, LSU, No. 23 New Mexico, North Florida, Notre Dame, No. 24 Oklahoma State, Purdue, SMU, Stanford, No. 21 Texas A&M, No. 11 Texas Tech, Utah, Wake Forest and West Virginia.