LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Transylvania men's golf team has been ranked No.1 in the national Golf World/Nike Golf Division III College Preseason Coach Poll, Golf World announced today.
"It's a testament to not only the guys we have returning, our All-Americans, but also what we've done the past two years to elevate our program," said Head Coach Brian Lane. "I'm excited for our golfers and Transylvania University."
The Stormy Petrels of Olgethrope took the second spot in the poll, winning seven tournaments last season but missing the cut at the national championship. Methodist claimed the No. 3 spot, having garnered five first-place votes with Saint John's (Minn.) and Claremont-Mudd Scripps (with one first-place vote) rounding out the top five. Both Emory and Texas-Tyler, the defending DIII NCAA Champion, earned first-place votes.
The Pioneers are fresh off their successful post-season campaign as they tallied their second consecutive NCAA DIII Championship Runner-Up finish. Transylvania captured three victories in 2012-13 at the Rose-Hulman Invitational, Manchester Invitational and the Transylvania Invitational. The Pioneers capped the regular season with a Heartland Conference title and HCAC Coach of the Year honors for Head Coach Brian Lane.
Men's golf also racked up honors in the off-season as they were recognized for the fourth consecutive year as a 2012 All-Academic Team by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Clay Hinton lead the Kentucky State Amateur Championship this summer after shooting a 66 in the first day of play, landing a solid top 10 finish. Jantzen Latham also returned to the 2013 Kentucky State Match Play Championship as defending champion this year, making it to the round of eight.
Four of Transylvania's top five golfers will return this season, including three 2012 PING All-Americans, junior Ben Fister, senior Clay Hinton, and Latham . Two big holes are still left to fill witht eh departure of HCAC Conference Champion Hunter Frazier and Conference Runner-Up Steven Montgomery.
"There's a lot hard work ahead to reach our goals," said Coach Lane. "We'll do the same we've done in the past, but we have a challenging schedule in many top events across the country. We're not taking anything for granted."
Men's golf tees off for the fall season on September 7 at 2 p.m. with the Transylvania Invitational at the University Club of Kentucky.