By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For just the second time in program history, Coastal Georgia finds itself atop the NAIA Men’s Golf Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Friday. The Mariners, the defending national champions, were last ranked No. 1 in the Postseason Top 25 on May 23, 2014 after overcoming a sixth-shot deficit in the final round of the national championships to claim their first championship banner.
On this day, Coastal Georgia reeled in nine first-place votes and 339 total points en route to the top spot. The Mariners jumped up from the third position after a 21-stroke win on April 6 in the Golfweek NAIA Spring Invitational at Mission Inn Golf and Tennis Resort in Howey in the Hills, Fla. The Mariners ran away from the field of 14 with a 2-over-par 866 (291-291-284), twenty-one shots ahead of previously No. 1-ranked Oklahoma City (887).
In the final round of the tournament, the Mariners got a 3-under-par 69 from Allen Bradford, a 70 from Trevor Smith, a 71 from Alastair Tidcombe and a 74 from Hunter Cornelius to go toward the team score. Alan Barnhardt shot 75.
Coastal Georgia looks ahead to the Southern States Athletic Conference Men's Golf Championship in Montgomery, Ala., on April 13-15.
The Stars fell one spot to second overall after their runner-up finish in the NAIA Spring Invitational. They collected the final four first-place votes and 334 total points to garner the No. 2 spot. In at No. 3 is William Woods (Mo.) with 324 points. The rest of the top five includes fourth-ranked British Columbia (309 points) and Cal State San Marcos moved up one spot from last week to No. 5 (294 points).
There was not a lot of shuffling in this week’s poll, as both Coastal Georgia and No. 18 Thomas (Ga.) moved up a rating-high two slots. On the other hand, Mobile (Ala.) fell from No. 18 to No. 25, the furthest of any institution.
No. 19 Faulkner (Ala.) is the only fresh face in this week’s Top 25.
The Sun Conference leads all leagues with five teams represented in the poll – No. 7 Johnson & Wales (Fla.), No. 9 USC Beaufort, No. 13 Northwood (Fla.), No. 14 Webber International (Fla.) and Thomas (Ga.).
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, Association of Independent Institutions and Unaffiliated Groups.
For the entire 2015 NAIA Men’s Golf Coaches’ Top 25 Poll ratings calendar, click here. The final Top 25 rating will be released on May 7.
Notes: (All information dates back to 2000) Coastal Georgia has earned its second all-time No. 1 ranking today…The Mariners join Oklahoma City and William Woods (Mo.) as the schools who have tasted No. 1 this year… 10 teams have been No. 1 all-time… Oklahoma City leads the NAIA with 39 all-time No. 1 rankings, followed by former member Oklahoma Christian (28) and Texas Wesleyan (5)… Only Wayland Baptist (Texas) and Coastal Georgia appeared at No. 1 in 2014… Oklahoma City has never been ranked outside of the top five… Oklahoma City (2010, 2004, 2003, 2002) is the only Preseason No. 1 team to go on to win the National Championships during the same season.
2015 NAIA Men’s Golf Coaches Top 25 Poll – No. 3 (April 10)
|RANK||LAST||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||3||Coastal Georgia (9)||339|
|2||1||Oklahoma City (4)||334|
|3||2||William Woods (Mo.)||324|
|5||6||Cal State San Marcos||294|
|6||5||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||293|
|7||7||Johnson & Wales (Fla.)||277|
|9||9||USC Beaufort (S.C.)||256|
|10||11||Grand View (Iowa)||248|
|11||10||Dalton State (Ga.)||131*|
|14||14||Webber International (Fla.)||206|
|15||16||Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||185|
|21||19||Mount Mercy (Iowa)||134|
|23||23||The Master’s (Calif.)||93|
Others receiving votes: Bethany (Kan.) 69; Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 58; Warner (Fla.) 43; Houston-Victoria (Texas) 26; Texas at Brownsville 15; AIB (Iowa) 14; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 12; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 11; Ashford (Iowa) 3; Indiana Wesleyan 3.
* Due to an error in the ratings system, Dalton State’s (Ga.) point value does not reflect their actual ranking