KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the fourth-straight edition, Wayland Baptist (Texas) tops the NAIA Men’s Golf Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Friday. The Pioneers received 8-of-18 first-place votes and 486 points to continue their reign at No. 1.
Wayland Baptist, which owns five tournament victories on the year, concluded its regular season by carding a 583 (285-298) at the Bash at the Beach on April 5-6 at the LGPA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Pioneers finished 6th among a field of 13 teams, behind five ranked NAIA opponents—most notably then-No. 3 Coastal Georgia, which won the event with a score of 562 (283-279). Wayland Baptist will return to the course on April 21-22 for the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) Championships.
Defending national champion Oklahoma City checks in at No. 2 for the fourth-straight poll with six first-place votes and 484 total points. The Stars, who have never ranked outside of the top five dating back to 2000, boast arguably the NAIA’s top golfer in James Marchesani. The senior leads the nation in scoring average (71.14) and shoots 4.29 strokes under par per round, good for third in the NAIA. The Stars concluded their regular season with a win at the Oklahoma Baptist Invitational on April 7-8 and await the aforementioned SAC Championships on April 21-22.
William Woods earns the No. 3 position, with four first-place votes and 466 total points, after rattling off four-straight tournament wins from March 17-April 8. Most recently, the Owls placed first out of 17 teams at the NAIA Classic at the Brickyard in Indianapolis, Ind., carding a two-round score of 587. William Woods has one regular-season tournament remaining, the American Midwest Conference (AMC) Preview at Gateway National on April 23 in Madison, Ill., before beginning postseason play with the AMC Championship on April 28-29.
Rounding out the top five this week are No. 4 Coastal Georgia with 458 points and No. 5 Texas Wesleyan with 436 points, respectively. The Mariners wrapped up their regular season with their aforementioned win over a strong NAIA field at the Bash at the Beach on April 5-6. Texas Wesleyan placed fourth in its final regular season tournament, the Dallas Baptist Classic at the Golf Club of Dallas on April 7-8 in Dallas, Texas. Coastal Georgia will next compete in the Southern States Athletic Conference Championship on April 14-16, while Texas Wesleyan will battle No. 1 Wayland Baptist and No. 2 Oklahoma City for the SAC crown on April 21-22.
Johnson & Wales’ (Fla.) six-spot jump from No. 15 to No. 9 highlights the positive movement in the poll, while Faulkner’s (Ala.) three-spot drop to No. 15 was the largest slide among the Top 25.
Thomas (Ga.) was the lone newcomer to the Top 25. The Night Hawks have received votes in every previous poll this season, but have not been ranked since the 2007 Preseason Poll.
Southeastern (Fla.) (No. 21) fell out of the Top 25.
Eleven conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups are represented in the third regular-season poll. The SAC and The Sun Conference lead all conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups with five schools ranked among the Top 25.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups. For the complete ratings calendar, click here.
Notes (All information dates back to 2000): Wayland Baptist (Texas) makes its fourth-straight No. 1 appearance … The Pioneers are one of eight teams all-time to hold the No. 1 ranking … Oklahoma City leads the NAIA with 38 all-time No. 1 rankings, followed by former member Oklahoma Christian (28) and Texas Wesleyan (5) … In 2013, only Oklahoma City and Texas Wesleyan appeared at No. 1 … 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.
2014 NAIA Men’s Golf Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 3 (April 11)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Wayland Baptist (Texas) (8)||486|
|2||2||Oklahoma City (6)||484|
|3||4||William Woods (Mo.) (4)||466|
|T6||8||Cal State San Marcos||404|
|8||7||Grand View (Iowa)||368|
|9||15||Johnson & Wales (Fla.)||361|
|10||9||Webber International (Fla.)||346|
|12||10||Southern Wesleyan (S.C.)||320|
|13||13||USC Beaufort (S.C.)||300|
|20||19||Mount Mercy (Iowa)||191|
Others Receiving Votes: Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 97; Southeastern (Fla.) 70; Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 67; Westminster (Utah) 58; Holy Cross (Ind.) 35; Warner (Fla.) 28; AIB (Iowa) 22; Indiana Wesleyan 15; Victoria (B.C.) 9; Union (Ky.) 4; Emmanuel (Ga.) 4; Davenport (Mich.) 4; Northwestern (Iowa) 3.