NORMAN, OK – Coming off its first tournament win of the season, Florida Southern remained third in the new Bushnell Golfweek Division II Coaches Poll, announced on Friday, October 20. West Florida and Lynn also held their positions at number one and two respectively.
Even though the Moccasins did not move up in the poll, they significantly cut into West Florida's lead at the top, closing what had been a 60-point gap down to 20. The Argonauts had been a unanimous number one in the previous poll on September 29, and still received 14 of the 19 first-place votes in this one, but No. 2 Lynn picked up one, and Florida Southern received the other four. The Argonauts' lead over Lynn is now down to three points (446-443), and the Moccasins have 426 points.
Moving up one spot each are Nova Southeastern and Florida Tech to fourth and fifth respectively. The Sharks earned 391 points, putting them 35 behind Florida Southern, and the Panthers picked up 364. That made Barry the only team to fall out of the top-five, with the Buccaneers dropping to 13th. With Saint Leo falling one spot to No. 11, it still gives the Sunshine State Conference six of the top 13 teams in the poll. Twelve of the top 15 are from either the South or Southeast Regions.
As has always been the case under head coach Doug Gordin, the Moccasins have already been sternly tested in their first three tournaments of the season. The Mocs have already gone head-to-head with both West Florida and Nova Southeastern three times, Lynn twice, and Florida Tech twice. They have beaten all of those teams at least once, including West Florida, Nova Southeastern and Lynn at the Copperhead Championship. The Moccasins won that tournament on October 17 by finishing three shots ahead of the Argonauts, with Nova and Lynn placing third and fourth. They also had a 2-0 record against previous top-five Barry.
The Mocs have been led in the early going by their returning All-Americans, seniors John VanDerLaan and John Coultas, but junior Michael VanDerLaan hasn't been far behind them. All three have stroke averages of 72.00 or better, the VanDerLaan brothers each placed in the top-five at the recent Copperhead Championship, and John won that tournament in a playoff. All three are ranked among the top-30 in the GolfStat individual rankings too.
Florida Southern will play its final tournament of the fall October 30-31, the Miami Intercollegiate at Trump National Doral. Hosted by Nova Southeastern, it will feature all five of the top-five teams in the October 20 Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll.
For the complete NCAA Division II poll, click here.