MELBOURNE, FL – Florida Southern juniors John VanDerLaan and John Coultas have both been voted First Team All-Sunshine State Conference, and VanDerLaan is the SSC Men's Golfer-of-the-Year in voting by league men's golf coaches. It's the third year in a row VanDerLaan and Coultas have both made the All-SSC Team, and each of them has now won the league's Golfer-of-the-Year award once in their respective careers.
VanDerLaan's selection marks the 11th time Florida Southern has had the league's Golfer-of-the-Year since that award was established in 1995, and he's the eighth different Moccasin to win it under head coach Doug Gordin. The others are John Curley (1995 and '96), Jeff Klauk (1998, '99, and 2000), Steve Sokol (2001), Greg Koch (2007), Jude Eustaquio (2008), Matt Stauch (2010), and Coultas (2016). It's the first time any team in the SSC has had two Men's Golfer-of-the-Year winners on its roster at the same time since 2010. Stauch won the award that year as a senior for Florida Southern with Eustaquio, the 2008 winner, still playing as a junior as they went on to lead the Moccasins to the Division II National Championship that season.
After earning Second Team All-SSC honors in his first two seasons as well as the league's Freshman-of-the-Year award in 2015, VanDerLaan moved up to the First Team this year. He posted a 70.57 stroke average through the SSC Championships where he finished as runner-up, the best for any golfer in the SSC, which made him one of only two with an adjusted average score below par for the season (-1.13). He also had a league-high eight top-five finishes, one more than Nova Southeastern's Richard Mansell, placed in the top-10 in all but one tournament this year, shot in the 60s in 12 of his 30 rounds, and was at or under par in 18 of them.
Coultas, who was last year's SSC Golfer-of-the-Year and eventual Jack Nicklaus Award winner as the Division II Player-of-the-Year, has a 72.04 stroke average that ranked fourth in the SSC through the conference tournament. No other SSC golfer, however, won as many tournaments this year as Coultas, who brought home individual titles from the Saint Leo Invitational, the NCAA D-II National Preview, and the Matlock Collegiate Classic. That helped him earn a spot on the All-SSC First Team for the second year in a row after earning Second Team honors as a freshman.
Florida Southern is currently competing in the NCAA Division II South/Southeast Regional along with five other teams from the SSC. The Moccasins ended the regular season ranked No. 4 in the country, and VanDerLaan and Coultas are currently ranked No. 2 and No. 6 nationally in the individual Golfstat ratings and are the only teammates in the top-10.
While Florida Southern had the SSC Golfer-of-the-Year, Lynn University had both the Coach-of-the-Year (Andrew Danna) and the Freshman-of-the-Year (Felix Kvarnstrom).
For the complete All-Sunshine State Conference Men's Golf Team, click here.