Auburn’s Julie McCarthy, Megan Schofill and Kaleigh Telfer were all named to the ANNIKA Award Preseason Watch List on Thursday. The award is given annually to the most outstanding women’s college golfer, as voted on by players, coaches and media.
Auburn joins Texas as the only two programs to have three players on the list.
“It is a complete honour and validation of how far our program has come to have three players on the list,” head coach Melissa Luellen said.
“And I really feel we might even have four on that list at some point in time. That list is ever changing. It’s really great when the hard work from the student-athletes and the hard work from the coaching staff starts to reveal itself. Being on a watch list is evidence of that.”
Forrest Little golfer McCarthy battled injuries last year but is healthy again and just two years removed from a season in which she had six top-five finishes, including her first win at the Clemson Invitational. She was added to the ANNIKA Award Watch List toward the end of that 2018-19 campaign.
For Telfer, this will be her third straight year making the ANNIKA Award Watch List. The junior earned WGCA All-American and First Team All-SEC honors last year and finished the season ranked No. 12 nationally. Over the summer, she reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Schofill, who also was a First Team All-SEC selection last year, made a splash in her first year at Auburn with four top-10 finishes and her first collegiate victory at the Lake Oconee Invitational. She tied Telfer for the team lead with an average score of 71.95 per round.
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the fall season, this year’s preseason watch list is broken up into two groups – those playing this fall and those not able to play until the spring. Auburn has three of 20 players in the Fall group, and another 10 players are on teams starting in the spring.
Auburn will begin its 2020-21 season on Oct. 5 at the Blessings Collegiate Invitational, a men’s and women’s event in Fayetteville, Arkansas, featuring all 14 SEC teams.
“I’m very excited. Our qualifying is going extremely well,” Luellen said. “The level of play is definitely elevated. We’ve got a lot of competition for who’s playing No. 1. There’s not a lot of separation. That’s really exciting. I’d say in my 20 years, our qualifying scores are as good as I’ve seen.”