NORMAN, Okla. – With the fall portion of the schedule now complete, the Florida Southern men's golf will head into the spring semester ranked No. 3 in the country according to the Bushnell Division II Coaches Poll released on Friday, November 18. The Moccasins trail only West Florida and Lynn in the final fall rankings, which had five schools from the Sunshine State Conference among the top seven.
West Florida was able to re-claim the top position from Lynn after losing it in the previous poll that was announced on October 21. Even so, the Argonauts (7) still had fewer first-place votes than the Knights (12), though the Argonauts had more points (474-468). That was enough to move the Argos back to No. 1 from the No. 4 position they had fallen to on October 21.
That meant Lynn, Florida Southern and Barry all dropped one spot into the 2-3-4 positions, with Nova Southeastern and Missouri-St.-Louis holding steady at No. 6 and No. 7. Florida Southern was 11 points behind Lynn, and 27 points ahead of No. 4 Barry. Rollins jumped from No. 13 to No. 7, and the top-10 was completed by North Alabama, South Carolina-Aiken and Cal State-Monterey Bay.
In addition to the five SSC schools in the top seven positions, two others were also ranked. Saint Leo, the preseason No. 1 team in the country, checked in at No. 12 this week and was still receiving one first-place vote, and Florida Tech was ranked No. 14.
The Moccasins played in four tournaments this fall, though one of those was a Division I event hosted by Duke University. Their best finishes came in the Saint Leo Invitational and the NCAA Division II National Preview where they finished first and second respectively. Of the 12 teams competing in the tournament at Saint Leo, five of them finished the fall in the top-25 nationally and four others were among those receiving votes. Of the 18 teams that took part in the Division II National Preview, 12 finished the fall in the top-25 and two others received votes. The only team to finish ahead of Florida Southern in either of those events was Lynn, which finished four shots ahead of the Moccasins at the Division II National Preview.
Florida Southern later finished seventh in the Nova Southeastern GolfRank Invitational in late October, a tournament won by Lynn, with Barry as the runner-up. Palm Beach Atlantic, Nova Southeastern and Florida Southern were all clustered together within four shots of each other in the middle.
The Moccasins were led this fall by their two returning All-Americans, John VanDerLaan and John Coultas. VanDerLaan had a 70.75 stroke average in the four fall tournaments, and Coultas had 70.92 average. That equates to a 2-stroke difference covering 12 rounds. VanDerLaan had a team-high three top-10 finishes, though Coultas had a pair of wins for the Moccasins.
Florida Southern will return to action in February and hosts the 36th annual Matlock Collegiate Classic on February 13 and 14.