Golf: Preseason Division III poll ranks Panthers No. 20

Golf: Preseason Division III poll ranks Panthers No. 20

(NEW YORK, NY)—The Golf World/Nike Golf Division III College Preseason Coaches' Poll has been released, combining the resources of Golf World magazine, Nike Golf and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). The complete results, including results from Divisions I, II, NAIA and NJCAA will appear in the September 3, 2012 issue of Golf World and are live now: http://golfdig.st/PYpysJ

The LaGrange golf team is ranked 20th in the poll. The Panthers won the Great South Athletic Conference championship and made their fifth NCAA Division III Championship Tournament appearance last season. The Panthers will be playing in the USA South Athletic Conference for the first time this season.
Oglethorpe, the defending NCAA champions, once again look like the team to beat in Division III as the 2012-13 college season begins. The Stormy Petrels garnered 12 of the 16 available first-place votes to grab the No. 1 ranking in the Golf World/Nike Golf D-III preseason men's coaches' poll. The Atlanta-based school comes off a season in which it won its final two events, winning the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference along with the national title.
 
USA South member Methodist, which claimed the other four first-place votes, sits in the No. 2 spot in the first poll of the fall. Transylvania, last year's NCAA runner-up, is No. 3 with Redlands No. 4. Tied for the fifth spot are Guilford and Texas-Tyler.

The USA South has five teams ranked in the Top 25. In addition to Methodist and the Panthers, the conference has No. 10 Greensboro, No. 19 Christopher Newport and No. 23 Averett. Huntingdon, which joins the conference next season, is ranked 13th.
The Panthers open their fall schedule Sept. 16-17 at the Rhodes Men's Fall Collegiate Classic in Tunica, Miss.