KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Defending national champion Oklahoma Christian begins the 2011-12 season at No. 1 in the NAIA Men’s Golf Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Friday. The Eagles, who have placed in the top four of the NAIA National Championships for 10-straight seasons, collected 14 of 17 first-place votes and earned 465 total points.
Oklahoma Christian capped the 2010-11 season by winning the NAIA Men’s Golf National Championship, finishing with a 281-293-283-293—1150. The Eagle’s four-day total was 22 strokes better than runner-up British Columbia. In Oklahoma Christian’s second tournament crown of the 2011 fall season, sophomore Alasdair Dalgliesh captured medalist honors by carding a 71-65-71—207 at the River Oaks Intercollegiate Tournament Oct. 31 – Nov. 1.
No. 2 Grand View (Iowa) moves up three spots from last season’s final poll. The Vikings garnered the three remaining first-place nods and pulled in 454 points. Grand View boasts this week’s Midwest Collegiate Conference Player of the Week in sophomore David Walter. Walter shot a 69-70-73—212 at the River Oaks Intercollegiate Tournament as the Vikings finished second behind Oklahoma Christian. No. 3 Oklahoma City grabbed 429 points and falls back two places from the 2011 final poll. No. 4 Northwood (Fla.) and No. 5 Lee (Tenn.) were awarded 418 and 409 points, respectively, to round out the top five.
In total, 18 teams that finished in last season’s final poll are ranked. Northwood (Fla.) made a big splash by moving from unranked to fourth due to early tournament titles against strong fields at the Webber Intercollegiate Tournament and the SeeMore Invitational. Lee vaulted from No. 14 to 5 on the strength of a 10th-place finish at the 2011 National Championships. The highest-rated NAIA school in the previous poll to drop out of the Top 25 is Southern Nazarene (Okla.), who was ranked No. 7. Shorter (Ga.), formerly No. 11, also fell from the poll.
The seven new teams to the poll are: Northwood (Fla.), No. 14 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), No. 16 William Woods (Mo.), No. 18 Rogers State (Okla.), No. 19 Huston-Victoria (Texas), No. 23 Tennessee Wesleyan and No. 24 Northwood (Texas).
The Sun Conference has the most representation in the Top 25 with five members: Northwood, No. 10 Johnson & Wales (Fla.), No. 8 South Carolina Beaufort, No. 15 St. Thomas (Fla.) and No. 21 SCAD Savannah (Ga.). The Sooner Athletic Conference is second with four ranked teams. The Association of Independent Institutions has three Top-25 members.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups. The first regular-season Top 25 poll will be announced on March 16, 2012.
Notes (All information as of 2000): Oklahoma Christian has now made 22 appearances at No. 1, second behind only Oklahoma City’s 34 No. 1 rankings … Simon Fraser (B.C.), who has been ranked at the top spot twice, is the only other school to appear at No. 1 more than once … Oklahoma City has never been ranked lower than fifth, which occurred on one occasion back on the first regular-season poll of 2009 … Oklahoma Christian’s lowest rating was 16th, occurring on April 11, 2001 … Northwood (Fla.), who checks in at No. 4, went the entire 2010-11 season without being ranked … Southern Nazarene (Okla.) had been included in the last nine top-25 polls … Shorter (Ga.) had made five-straight poll appearances.
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Oklahoma Christian (14)||465|
|2||5||Grand View (Iowa) (3)||454|
|8||3||South Carolina Beaufort (SC)||355|
|10||12||Johnson & Wales (Fla.)||325|
|10||17||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||325|
|12||20||Cal State San Marcos||289|
|13||13||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||284|
|14||RV||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||248|
|15||10||St. Thomas (Fla.)||244|
|16||RV||William Woods (Mo.)||225|
|17||19||Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)||205|
|18||NR||Rogers State (Okla.)||194|
|20||15||The Master's (Calif.)||137|
|21||21||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||133|
|22||23||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||121|
|25||16||Holy Names (Calif.)||80|
Others receiving votes: Carroll (Mont.) 73; Southern Nazarene (Okla.) 70; Southwestern (Kan.) 62; Holy Cross (Ind.) 53; Victoria (B.C.) 50; Central Baptist (Ark.) 41; Viterbo (Wis.) 39; Marian (Ind.) 39; Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 33; Shorter (Ga.) 31; Lubbock Christian (Texas) 29; Spring Hill (Ala.) 21; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 18; Davenport (Mich.) 17; Union (Tenn.) 14; Southeastern (Fla.) 12; Southwestern Christian (Okla.) 10; Cumberland (Tenn.) 4; St. Francis (Ill.) 1; Bellevue (Neb.) 1; Madonna (Mich.) 1; Mount Mercy (Iowa) 1; Union (Ky.) 1; Northwestern (Iowa) 1; Huntington (Ind.) 1; Concordia (Ore.) 1; Oklahoma Baptist 1.
^ 2011 NAIA Men’s Golf Coaches’ Final Poll