Golf: Panthers picked second in USA South preseason coaches' poll

Golf: Panthers picked second in USA South preseason coaches' poll

The 2013 USA South Athletic Conference preseason coaches' poll was released Wednesday. The LaGrange golf team was picked second in the poll behind perennial conference power Methodist.

The Panthers are coming off an impressive fall season as they prepare for the spring schedule. The Panthers open their spring schedule at the Pine Needles Intercollegiate on Feb. 25-26 in Southern Pines, N.C.

Head coach Lee Richter is beginning his 21st season and has guided the Panthers to six NCAA Division III championship tournament appearances. The Panthers return five lettermen from last spring's team, which won the Great South Athletic Conference tournament championship.

The Panthers are beginning their first season in the USA South. In addition to the Panthers, the 2013 season marks the first in the USA South for new conference members Maryville and Piedmont.

Methodist was picked to win the USA South 2013 golf title in the preseason coaches' poll. The Monarchs are looking to earn their first conference championship since 2010 and 29th overall. Methodist received eight of nine first-place votes (64 points) as head coaches do not vote for their own teams in the balloting.

The Panthers finished with 53 points and the final first-place vote while defending USA South champion Greensboro placed third in the poll with 51 points. Christopher Newport finished fourth in the voting with 45 points and Averett rounded out the top-tier of the poll in fifth with 37 points.

The 2013 USA South Golf Tournament will be played April 12-14 at Benvenue Country Club in Rocky Mount, N.C. as a part of the USA South Spring Sports Festival.