By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the third-straight edition, Wayland Baptist (Texas) tops the NAIA Men’s Golf Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Friday. The Pioneers were the unanimous selection, garnering all 20 first-place votes and 560 points.
Wayland Baptist, which owns five tournament victories on the year, finished second at the annual Battle at Primm in Primm, Nev., March 24 – 25. The Pioneers carded a 2-under 286 in the three-round event held at Primm Valley Golf Club, six shots behind team champion and Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) rival Oklahoma City. Ian Ansett, who ranks 13th in the NAIA in scoring average (72.2), was the top individual for Wayland Baptist, finishing in fourth place with a 68-71-71—210.
Defending national champion Oklahoma City checks in at No. 2 for the third-straight poll with 541 points. The Stars, who have never ranked outside of the top five dating back to 2000, had three individuals – James Marchesani (2nd; 70-70-69—209), Anthony Marchesani (5th; 72-71-69—212) and Scott Verplank (9th; 70-73-71—214) – finish among the top 10 in their aforementioned victory at the Battle at Primm. The title is the fourth of the season for Oklahoma City.
Coastal Georgia holds down the No. 3 position for the third-straight week with 513 points. The Mariners took third place in the Emmanuel (Ga.) Invitational at Cateechee Golf Club in Hartwell, Ga., March 24 – 25. The loss is the first of the spring for Coastal Georgia, which previously won the Coastal Georgia Winter Invitational (Feb. 10 – 11) and the USCB Sand Shark Invitational (March 10 – 11).
Rounding out the top five this week are No. 4 William Woods (Mo.) with 499 points and No. 5 Texas Wesleyan with 495 points, respectively. William Woods is coming off its second-straight tournament victory, while Texas Wesleyan has been idle since finishing third at the UST Mamiya Texas Intercollegiate on March 10 – 11. The ranking is the highest of the season for both programs.
USC Beaufort’s (S.C.) five spot jump from No. 18 to No. 13 highlights the positive movement within this week’s Top 25. The Sand Sharks took second at the 25th annual Eagle Invitational in Daytona Beach, Fla., March 17 – 18. Brad Curren was the individual runner-up in the event, while teammate Brian Langley took third.
No. 24 Houston-Victoria (Texas) and No. 25 Northwood (Texas) are this week’s newcomers. Houston-Victoria is ranked for the first time since the 2012 Preseason Poll (Nov. 11, 2011), while Northwood returns to the Top 25 after a one-week hiatus.
Victoria (B.C.) (No. 22) and Holy Cross (Ind.) (No. 25) fell out of the poll.
Eleven conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups are represented in the second regular-season poll. The SAC – Wayland Baptist, Oklahoma City, Texas Wesleyan, No. 6 Oklahoma Baptist and Northwood – leads all leagues with five programs 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 third-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. 2 (March 28)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Wayland Baptist (Texas) (20)||560|
|4||6||William Woods (Mo.)||499|
|7||5||Grand View (Iowa)||448|
|8||8||Cal State San Marcos||437|
|9||11||Webber International (Fla.)||410|
|10||9||Southern Wesleyan (S.C.)||396|
|13||18||USC Beaufort (S.C.)||345|
|15||12||Johnson & Wales (Fla.)||305|
|19||19||Mount Mercy (Iowa)||219|
Others receiving votes: Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 77; Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 77; Holy Cross (Ind.) 72; Westminster (Utah) 53; Warner (Fla.) 51; Victoria (B.C.) 46; Marian (Ind.) 29; AIB (Iowa) 24; Emmanuel (Ga.) 22; Thomas (Ga.) 17; Northwestern (Iowa) 5; Mobile (Ala.) 4; Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 3; Davenport (Mich.) 3; Union (Ky.) 3.