Guilford Leads ODAC Men’s Golf Coaches’ Poll

Posted by Press Release on February 21, 2014 at 4:30 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

FOREST, Va. – Guilford College received eight first place votes on the way to 80 total points to top the 2014 ODAC Men’s Golf Coaches’ Poll. Hampden-Sydney College picked up two top nods on the way to 74 tallies. Washington and Lee University (61 points) and Bridgewater College (60 points) are separated by just one vote for third in the conference’s first men’s golf survey.

The 2012-13 season saw Guilford stand atop the championship standings for the third straight year and ODAC record 13th overall time. The Quakers posted the round of the tournament (289) on day three on the Palmer Course at Bay Creek Resort & Club, turning a tight two-stroke advantage after 36 holes into 23-stroke triumph. Three Quakers placed within the top-five in the individual rankings, led by Noah Ratner (224) and Drew Thompson (229) finishing first and second, respectively.

Guilford’s season continued in the 2013 NCAA Division III National Championships at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Fla. GC opened with team rounds of 307 and 305 to place 17th after the first two days, which missed the top-15 team cutline by six strokes. Ratner, however, rallied to win a five-man playoff to secure the last individual qualification spot into the final two rounds. Ratner finished the tournament 12th overall (eight-over 293), earning his second straight Ping First Team All-America honor.

The 2014 ODAC Men’s Golf Championships will move locations for the first time in five years. Rock Barn Golf & Spa will welcome the league’s men’s and women’s programs to Conover, N.C., on April 27-29. Rock Barn has become a regular stop on the PGA’s Champions Tour, which includes the Greater Hickory Kia Classic on October 17-19.

Ten all-conference golfers returned to courses across the ODAC this past fall as teams competed in a series of events before closing up shop during the winter months. Guilford (295.8 per round average in 10 rounds played this fall) and reigning ODAC Coach of the Year Corey Maggard feature three such athletes, including a pair from the All-ODAC First Team in Thompson (74.8 strokes/round average in 10 rounds played this fall) and Nick Shedd. Thompson aslo picked up Third Team Ping All-America honors, while Shedd doubled as the ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete in 2013. Dallas Page (74.6; 10 rounds), who finished fifth at the 2013 ODAC championships, picked up All-ODAC Second Team honors, while Travis Tolbert (77.0; 7 rounds) earned a spot on the All-ODAC Third Team. Six Quakers posted averages within the conference’s top-10 this past fall, led by Shedd (4 rounds) and newcomer Tanner Gross (10 rounds) tied for third with 73.8 per round marks. Shedd highlighted the Quakers’ fall by winning the O’Briant-Jensen Memorial, while Gross placed in the top-10 in 3-of-4 events competed with one top-five showing. Guilford enters the spring as the fourth-ranked team in the latest Golf World/Nike Golf Division III Coaches’ Poll.

Hampden-Sydney (297.1; 9 rounds), ranked 18th in the Golf World/Nike Golf D-III Coaches’ Poll, welcomes back third team choice George Whiting (76.2; 9 rounds), in addition to former first team selection (2012) Rick O’Connell (72.9; 7 rounds). O’Connell, who won the Ted Keller Memorial in October, is second to teammate Brian Burt (72.8; 9 rounds) on the conference’s average lists coming into the spring season. Burt placed in the top-five in 4-of-5 tournaments participated, including an individual victory at the Virginia State Intercollegiate. The Tigers will also rely upon the championship experience of Drew Arnold (76.4; 9 rounds) and Trey Cully (76.7; 9 rounds).

Washington and Lee’s (303.1; 8 rounds) deep squad is led by first honoree Teddy Corcoran (76.3; 3 rounds) and third teamer Patrick Clossin (75.6; 5 rounds). Corcoran competed in just two events in the fall, but that included a tie for second place at the Virginia State Intercollegiate. Newcomer Conley Hurst (74.3; 8 rounds) burst on the scene in the fall, ranking fifth in individual average. The Generals depth also includes Cody Solomon (76.8; 8 rounds), Todd Alan McDonald (77.0; 8 rounds) and Joey Manzinger (81.14; 7 rounds).

Bridgewater (306.8; 9 rounds) is four years removed from winning its first ODAC title in 2010. The Eagles welcome back third team honoree Matt Dye (77.1; 9 rounds), who has already been in the winner’s circle in 2013-14 after claiming the individual title at the Tom Kinder Memorial. Elijah Tackett (76.6; 9 rounds) owns BC’s best average from the fall, while Tyler Weeks (77.2; 9 rounds) and Rhett Martin (79.9; 7 rounds) give the Eagles four scoring players averaging less than 80 strokes per round.

Roanoke College (314.2; 9 rounds) will look to the championship experience of Andrew Butts (77.8; 9 rounds) and Jack Prater (79.7; 9 rounds) to set the tone this spring. Newcomer Alex Taylor (75.3; 9 rounds) had the most success in the fall, posting a pair of top-five showings and three top-10 finishes in five starts.

Shenandoah University (315.3; 9 rounds) embarks on its second season under the ODAC banner after the Hornets became a full-time member in July 2012. Doc Shulte (77.0; 9 rounds) posted SU’s best fall average, while Brennan Lloyd (78.0; 7 rounds) finished inside the top-10 twice with one top-five performance in four events competed. Schulte recorded the ODAC’s lowest round in the fall, posting a five-under 67 at the Chik Fil-A Collegiate in late September. Cory Hammons (79.1; 9 rounds) also cards sub-80 rounds on average.

Randolph-Macon College (320.7; 9 rounds) features the lone remaining All-ODAC returner in first team choice Kyle Fuller (74.7; 9 rounds). Fuller placed in the top-five in three events in the fall, including a tie for second at the Ted Keller Memorial. Bobby Bradshaw (82.1; 7 rounds), Dalton Taylor (82.8; 9 rounds) and Wes Bourdon (83.1; 9 rounds) look forward to strong spring campaigns.

Virginia Wesleyan College (324.8; 9 rounds) and Lynchburg College (335.9; 7 rounds) both look to new faces for success in 2014. Five first-year athletes dot the Marlins’ roster, with Caleb Martin (78.4; 9 rounds) starting off his collegiate career on the right foot in the fall. Trevor Klein (80.9; 9 rounds) looks poised to join Martin as a sub-80 player. Lynchburg does feature championship experience in Ned Jensen (80.9; 7 rounds), who led LC in average in the fall. The Hornets will also look for strong contributions from Jeff Brochetti (83.0; 7 rounds) and Scott Stevens (85.0; 7 rounds).

Eastern Mennonite University (336.1; 7 rounds) took to the links for the first time in 2012-13 and looks to continue to build upon that foundation. Josh Alderfer (79.4; 7 rounds) followed up a top-20 showing in the ODAC Championships with a solid fall season. Caleb Schlabach (84.0; 7 rounds) and Mark Shaner (84.0; 7 rounds) also feature in the Royals’ lineup.

The spring season begins Monday, February 24, with several programs heading to Southern Pines, N.C., to compete in the Pine Needles Intercollegiate at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club. For more information on ODAC men’s golf, visit any of the participating schools’ websites or go to the ODAC’s home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com. Don’t forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter.

2014 ODAC MEN’S GOLF COACHES’ POLL
(#) Denotes first place votes
1. Guilford (8) 80 pts.
2. Hampden-Sydney (2) 74 pts.
3. Washington and Lee 61 pts.
4. Bridgewater 60 pts.
5. Roanoke 47 pts.
6. Shenandoah 38 pts.
7. Randolph-Macon 35 pts.
8. Virginia Wesleyan 25 pts.
9. Lynchburg 19 pts.
10. Eastern Mennonite 11 pts.


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