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M. GOLF

Men's Golf Chipped as 8th in Preseason Coaches Poll

HIGH POINT, N.C. - The Barton College men’s golf team returns its top five players from a team that made its 13th straight NCAA appearance last season and finished runner-up in the Conference Carolinas Championship. Pfeiffer University was selected 8th in the annual preseason coaches poll.

The Bulldogs, ranked 25th in the Golf World/Nike Golf Coaches Poll, won the King Invitational and placed second in the Myrtle Beach Intercollegiate in the fall. Two-time All-American Daniel Claytor, now a senior, captured two individual titles with a 72.6 scoring average while freshman Edward Thomas III and senior Michael Marshburn averaged just over 73. As a team, the Bulldogs averaged 74.6.

“We are appreciative that the league’s coaches voted us No. 1,” 16th-year head coach John Hackney said, “but this is the most balanced and talented this league has been in my tenure. More than half the schools in Conference Carolinas have teams that could win the championship so it should be a real shootout and a lot of fun. At the end of the fall, we also had two teams in the top 10 nationally in Golfstat (Belmont Abbey and Coker), while Mount Olive, Erskine, Barton and King have also ranked highly throughout the season. It is just great to see so many of our teams gaining national recognition.”

For the first time since the 2007 season, the Belmont Abbey men's golf team has cracked the top ten national rankings as the Crusaders jumped two spots to ninth in the final GolfStat rankings of the fall season. The Abbey jumped two spots in the GolfStat polls, after a very strong effort during the fall schedule. The national ranking of ninth is the lowest ranking since the 2007 team finished tied for fifth.

In four tournaments, the Crusaders had one win (Smoky Mountain Intercollegiate in Sevierville, Tennessee), a tie for second (King Intercollegiate in Bristol, Tennessee), a tie for fourth, (Myrtle Beach Intercollegiate), and a tie for sixth (Kiawah Island Intercollegiate). Senior All-American Adam Hedges, who hails from Bromley, England, leads the team in scoring with a 70.63 scoring average and is currently tied for sixth in the country. Senior John Frisby from Lebanon, Indiana, is having his best year ever for the Abbey. He currently is tied for 11th in the country with a 71.13 scoring average. The Crusaders will kick-off the spring season February 4th at the St. Leo Invitational in Dade City, Florida.

As the reigning Conference Carolinas Champions, the Coker College men’s golf team is coming off one of the best fall seasons in program history.  The Cobras ended the fall ranked No. 14 in the Golf World/NIKE Division II Coaches Poll, and they are ranked No. 9 in Division II according to Golfstat.

Led by 2012 first team all-conference selection Jake Murphy, the Cobras finished in the top five in all four of their events this fall, including a pair of third place finishes at the Kiawah Island Invitational and the Jay Jennison Memorial. Freshman Nicklaus Kennedy had the lowest stroke average for the Cobras this fall, including a third place finish at the Aflac/Cougar Invitational.

Rounding out the golf preseason poll 4-10 was: King, Mount Olive, Queens, Erskine, Pfeiffer, Limestone, and North Greenville respectively.

CONFERENCE CAROLINAS PRESEASON COACHES POLL (First Place Votes)
1. Barton - (4) 69
2. Belmont Abbey - (2) 67
3. Coker - (3) 63
4. King - (1) 56
5. Mount Olive - 47
6. Queens - 41
7. Erskine - 39
8. Pfeiffer - 30
9. Limestone - 25
10. North Greenville - 13

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