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Auburn golfers close in on lead

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 18 Auburn men’s golf team was tied for third and two shots off the lead after the second round of the NCAA Columbus Regional on Friday at the Ohio State Golf Club’s Scarlet Course. Six teams were within three strokes of the coveted five spots to advance to the NCAA Championship at the Capital City Club in Atlanta, Ga.

Dominic Bozzelli was tied for 10th place after Friday's second round.

Auburn (293--586) is two strokes behind UNLV (292--584) and No. 20 South Carolina (296--584), who leads the field, and is tied for third with No. 8 Stanford (295--586). Texas Tech (288-587) and No. 5 New Mexico (293--587) are tied for fifth, while Missouri (301--595) is in seventh followed by San Francisco (299--596), Charlotte (309--596), Virginia (294--597), Chattanooga (294--598), Georgia Southern (308--606) and Valparaiso (308--617).

“We are in a great position to win a golf tournament,” Auburn coach Nick Clinard said. “The guys have really battled hard the last two days. We have to just go out there and stick to our game plan and play hard and play smart and put ourselves in a position to win the golf tournament.

“All year, we have played tough golf courses preparing for this situation and preparing for the National Championship. We just have to go out there and control what we can control and worry about ourselves and go out there and have some fun.”

Senior Dominic Bozzelli, sophomore Michael Johnson and All-SEC freshman Jake Mondy are tied for 10th at 3-over 145. After bogeys on Nos. 8 and 9, Mondy birdied the next three holes to finish with a team-best 1-under 70.

Bozzelli birdied No. 3 before a bogey on No. 5, but rebounded with a birdie on No. 7. Following a bogey on No. 8 to make the turn at even-par, Bozzelli bogeyed Nos. 11, 12 and 13 to finish at 3-over.

After a birdie on No. 4, Johnson double bogeyed No. 6 before reeling off back-to-back birdies on Nos. 9 and 10 to move to 1-under. The Birmingham, Ala native bogeyed No. 12 before a double bogeying No. 14 to finish at 2-over for the day.

Junior Niclas Carlsson is tied for 40th at 151 while senior Michael Hebert is tied for 61st at 154.

Auburn will tee off today at 7:40 a.m. CDT with UNLV and South Carolina.

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