News & ToursMarch 27, 2013

Cal men quite comfortable atop polls

By Ryan Herrington

Forget for a moment the number 1. The metric by which to measure the California men's golf team, ranked atop the latest Golf World/Nike Golf Division I coaches' poll, these days is something different.

Try 71.56.

What's so special, you ask, about 71.56? How about that it's the current stroke average of the Golden Bears' fifth-best player in 2012-13, Michael Weaver, the U.S. Amateur runner-up who will be playing in the Masters in two weeks.

Indeed, four other players on the Cal roster have stroke average's lower than Weaver, who by the way ranks T-29 for all Division I players.

Here is how the rest of the team stacks:

Michael Kim, 69.93, No. 2 in the nation

Joel Stalter, 70.33, No. 6

Brandon Hagy, 71.26, No. 17

Max Homa, 71.40, No. 24

Meanwhile, Cal's team individual average is 71.33, more than a stroke better than No. 2 Alabama's (72.36).

A few other notes from the most recent polls:

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  • Some solace for New Mexico basketball fans after their school got bumped early from the NCAA Championship. The Lobos' golf team finished No. 3 ranking is the latest poll, the highest it have ever appeared in the Golf World/Nike Golf poll since its revival in 2001-02.

  • Saint Mary's (Calif.) claimed the No. 24 spot after back-to-back runner-up finishes at The Farms and the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate. It's the first time the Gaels have ever appeared in the poll.

  • Houston claimed the No. 25 spot after winning the Border Olympics earlier in the month, the team's second victory in 2012-13. For the Cougars, it's the first time since September 2001 that the squad has appeared in the Golf World poll.

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The tight race for the No. 1 spot in the Golf World/Nike Golf Division II coaches' poll continued with Nova Southeastern inching past Barry in the latest spring poll. It's the second time this spring that the two schools have swapped the No. 1 and No. 2 ranking.

The Sharks held a slight 410-407 advantage in the overall vote despite receiving one less first-place vote (7 to 8) than the Buccaneers, who finished sixth in the last start, the Bobcat Invitational. In the same event the Sharks finished T-2, their seventh top-two finish in eight starts.

USC-Aiken and Florida Southern maintained their No. 3 and No. 4 ranking, respectively while Lynn moved up to the No. 5 spot, earning the last two of the 17 available first-place votes.

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By a single point, Oglethorpe maintained its place atop the Golf World/Nike Golf Division III coaches' poll, a spot it has occupied the entire 2012-13 season. The Stormy Petrels held a 308-307 advantage over Methodist in the overall vote, despite receiving six of 13 available first-place votes compared to just one for the Monarchs. Oglethorpe has finished no worse than third all season, the place they came in their most recent start at the Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational, an event in which Methodist finished T-2.

Three other programs also received first-place votes: No. 3 Illinois Wesleyan (three), No. 5 Nebraska Wesleyan (two) and No. 6 Gustavus Adolphus (one).

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Texas Wesleyan was the unanimous No. 1 choice among the 12 voting coaches in the latest Golf World/Nike Golf NAIA men's coaches' polls. The The Rams earned their fifth win in seven starts at the UST Mamiya Texas Intercollegiate, their home event, earlier this month. The school also fielded a second five-man team in the event, which finished the equivalent of third overall.

Oklahoma City remained in the No. 2 spot, while CSU-San Marco held firm at No. 3. Lee and Bellevue swapped places, coming in No. 4 and No. 5 respectively.

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Central Alabama moved up one spot to claim the No. 1 ranking in the Division I poll while South Mountain maintained its place at atop the Division II poll in the latest Golf World/Nike Golf NJCAA coaches' polls.

The Trojans won all five starts in the fall and have claimed a sixth title in its latest start, Goosepond Fling, to earn five of the eight first-place votes and a narrow 73-70 edge on No. 2 McLennan in the overall NJCAA D-I vote.

In the D-II poll, the Cougars claimed seven of the eight available first-place votes, having won four of their last seven starts to go with second-place finished at the Goosepond Fling and the Mesa CC Invitational.

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