By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Wayland Baptist (Texas) closes the regular season at No. 1 in the NAIA Men’s Golf Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Thursday. The Pioneers received 11-of-20 first-place votes and 552 total points to extend their top-ranked streak to five-straight.
Team and individual qualifiers for the 63rd annual NAIA Men’s Golf National Championships will be released today at 5 p.m. CDT on www.NAIA.org. The first and second pairings for the event will be unveiled Friday at 3 p.m. CDT.
Wayland Baptist enters the 2014 NAIA Men’s Golf National Championships, which will be held at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., May 13 – 16, fresh off its first-ever Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) Championships win. The Pioneers, who won five tournaments during the regular season, carded an 842 (283-280-279) to unseat perennial powerhouse Oklahoma City by 13 strokes. Ian Ansett was the top finisher for Wayland Baptist with a 208 (69-69-70), good for second-place.
William Woods (Mo.) checks in with nine first-place votes and 540 total points en route to the No. 2 ranking. The Owls earned an automatic berth to the national championships with a dominating win at the America Midwest Conference Championships on April 28 – 29. William Woods, led by individual medalist Julian Taylor’s 1-under 215 (76-70-69), ended the event with a 17-over 881 (303-292-286), which was 39 strokes better than second-place Missouri Baptist. All five Owls finished among the top 15, including four top five finishers.
Oklahoma City drops one spot to No. 3 this edition with 533 points. The two-time defending national champions boast one of the top golfers in the NAIA in James Marchesani. The senior leads the NAIA in scoring average (70.79) and par four scoring (3.95). Marchesani was the individual medalist at the SAC Championships with a score of 205 (67-71-67). Oklahoma City has never been ranked outside of the top five dating back to 2000.
Rounding out the top five for the second-straight week are No. 4 Coastal Georgia and No. 5 Texas Wesleyan with 503 points and 489 points, respectively. The Mariners finished second at the Southern States Athletic Conference Championships at Lagoon Park Golf Club in Montgomery, Ala., while Texas Wesleyan took third place at the aforementioned SAC Championships.
Faulkner (Ala.) highlighted the positive movement within the poll, jumping six places from No. 15 to No. 9 after winning the SSAC Championships. The victory is the fourth of the spring for the Eagles, who carded an 873 (287-298-288) to outpace runner-up Coastal Georgia by 11 strokes.
No. 20 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and No. 22 Westminster (Utah), which won their respective conference championships, are the only newcomers to the poll. The Blue Raiders were last ranked in the 2013 Postseason Poll (No. 20), while Westminster garners its first-ever Top 25 mention dating back to 2000.
Cumberland (Tenn.) (No. 19) and Houston-Victoria (Texas) (No. 22) fell out of the poll.
Twelve 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 fifth-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 – Final (May 1)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Wayland Baptist (Texas) (11)||552|
|2||3||William Woods (Mo.) (9)||540|
|6||6||Cal State San Marcos||438|
|7||9||Johnson & Wales (Fla.)||430|
|10||8||Grand View (Iowa)||405|
|11||10||Webber International (Fla.)||397|
|13||13||USC Beaufort (S.C.)||324|
|17||12||Southern Wesleyan (S.C.)||291|
|18||19||Mount Mercy (Iowa)||230|
|20||RV||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||198|
Others receiving votes: Cumberland (Tenn.) 141; Houston-Victoria (Texas) 116; Warner (Fla.) 79; Southeastern (Fla.) 41; Mobile (Ala.) 14; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 13; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 11; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 9; Indiana Wesleyan 7; Point Park (Pa.) 6; Madonna (Mich.) 4; Emmanuel (Ga.) 3; Union (Ky.) 3; Oklahoma Wesleyan 3.