Golf: Defending champion Panthers second in USA South coaches preseason poll

Senior Cory Howard is a two-time All-American and ranked seventh in the Golfstat Division III rankings.
Senior Cory Howard is a two-time All-American and ranked seventh in the Golfstat Division III rankings.

The LaGrange golf team was picked second in the USA South coaches preseason poll as announced by the conference.

The Panthers are coming off an impressive fall performance. They were in the top five in three tournaments and ninth in another. They are ranked eighth in the Golf Coaches Association of America Top 25 poll and 12th in the Golfstat.com rankings.

Senior Cory Howard, a two-time All-American, is ranked seventh in the Golfstat.com Division III individual rankings. Howard is one of three Panthers in the top 150 ranked. Sophomores Osborn Theam and Logan Lanier are ranked 14th and 32nd respectively. Theam earned All-American status as a freshman.

The Panthers are the defending conference champions. Methodist University was picked to win the 2015 USA South Athletic Conference men's golf title in the preseason coaches' poll.Methodist received nine of 11 first place votes and 99 points as head coaches do not vote for their own teams in the balloting.

The Panthers finished with 91 points and the final two first place votes. Placing third in the poll with 75 points was Huntingdon College while Ferrum College tallied 73 points to finish fourth. Greensboro College ranked fifth in the poll with 71 points and was followed in sixth by Averett University which totaled 51 points.

The Panthers open their spring season Feb. 28-March with the Callaway Gardens Intercollegiate Invitational.

The 2015 USA South Men's Golf Tournament will be played April 17-19 at Benvenue Country Club as a part of the USA South Spring Sports Festival in Rocky Mount, N.C.

2015 USA South Men's Golf Preseason Coaches Poll

Rank

Institution (1st Place Votes)

Pts.

1.

Methodist (9)

99

2.

LaGrange (2)

91

3.

Huntingdon

75

4.

Ferrum

73

5.

Greensboro

71

6.

Averett

52

7.

Piedmont

40

8.

Maryville

37

9.

N.C. Wesleyan

35

10.

Covenant

22

11.

William Peace

10