Men's Golf Ranked Second in <i>Golf World</i> Coaches' Poll
Sept. 14, 2001
TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona men's golf team will open the 2001-02 season as the nation's No. 2-ranked team, according to Golf World magazine's preseason coaches' poll.
The Wildcats earned 429 points and one first-place vote in balloting done by NCAA Division I men's golf coaches to rank second nationally. Only the University of Florida with 13 first-place vote and 439 points overall was ranked higher. Georgia Tech (371), Oklahoma State (357) and Texas (356) round out the top five.
Arizona returns the top seven players from last year's NCAA third-place finisher, including reigning Pac-10 individual champion Ricky Barnes, who Golf World tabbed as the top-ranked men's college player in the country.
Barnes, a junior from Stockton, Calif., finished the 2000-01 with a 71.05 stroke average and seven top-10 finishes. He won the Savane All-America Golf Classic and the 2001 Pacific-10 Conference individual championship with record-breaking performances. In his last five events of 2000-01, Barnes posted nine rounds in the 60s. Through his first two years of collegiate competition, Barnes has the lowest career scoring average (71.05) in Arizona history.
In its preseason ranking of the '50 College Players to Watch,' Golf World also recognized UA sophomore Chris Nallen.
Nallen, a native of Blairstown, N.J., earned third team All-America honors in 2000-01 after a freshman campaign in which he posted a 71.81 stroke average and tallied three top-10 finishes. Nallen picked up his first career win on April 22 at the U.S. Intercollegiate and closed the 2000-01 season with four consecutive top-15 finishes. He was the leading freshman at the 2001 NCAA West Regional and finished at par or better in 17 of 26 rounds last spring, including eight rounds in the 60s. He finished in a tie for 13th place at the NCAA Men's Golf Championships.
Barnes, Nallen and the rest of the Arizona men's golf team open the 2001-02 campaign Sept. 21-22 at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate in Albuquerque, N.M.
Golf World Men's College Coaches' PollRnk. Team (first place votes) Points1. Florida (13) 4392. ARIZONA (1) 4243. Georgia Tech (1) 3714. Oklahoma State (3) 3575. Texas 3566. Georgia 3547. Wake Forest 3358. Virginia Tech 3069. Clemson 28810. Arizona State 25711. Oklahoma 23112. UAB 22513. UNLV 20614. Augusta State 16515. SMU 13516. Minnesota 13217. Houston 10518. TCU 9719. New Mexico 9320. Pepperdine 82 USC 8222. Oregon State 7923. South Carolina 7824. Tulsa 7325. East Tennessee State 69