The LaGrange golf team opens its 2015-16 schedule at the prestigious Gordin Classic, being played at the Columbus Country Club in Columbus, Ohio. The two-day tournament begins Monday with 36 holes and concludes with 18 holes on Tuesday.
The Panthers are coming off their most successful season. They won a school-record four tournaments, including their second straight USA South championship. The season was capped by a runner-up finish at the NCAA Division III championship, the best NCAA finish by a LaGrange College athletic team.
Lee Richter is starting his 23rd season as head coach of the Panthers. He was named the USA South and Southeast Region Coach of the Year last season. Richter was also nominated as a finalist for Division III Coach of the Year.
The Panthers are led by juniors Logan Lanier and Osborn Theam, who both earned All-American honors last season. Senior Alex Ball, along with sophomores Eric Havixbeck and Jake Nelson join Lanier and Theam to make up the lineup for the first tournament of the year.
Hosted by Ohio Wesleyan since 1991, the Gordin Classic annually matches 12 of the best NCAA Division III teams, featuring most — if not all — of the top 10 finishers from the previous spring's NCAA Division III championship tournament.
Included in the tournament with the Panthers are defending national champion Methodist, third place finisher Wittenberg and fourth place Berry. Guilford (8th), Illinois Wesleyan (9th), Oglethorpe (10th), St. John Fisher (11th), Spalding (15th), Rhodes, Transylvania, and tournament host Ohio Wesleyan round out the field.
The Panthers are ranked seventh in the latest Bushnell Golfweek Division III Coaches Poll.