The Oglethorpe men's golf team came in at No. 11 in the Preseason Division III Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll released Friday by the Golf Coaches Association of America. They earned one of the 17 first-place votes in the process.
The Stormy Petrels finished seventh in the final poll of the 2016-17 campaign, reaching a season-high of No. 3 in late March. They finished 23rd at the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida, in May, missing the cut for just the second time in program history.
Texas-Tyler will begin the season atop the rankings, having earned three first-place votes. Defending NCAA Division III champion Wittenberg tallied six first-place votes, the most of any team, and came in at No. 2 in the poll. No. 3 Methodist also garnered a first-place vote, while No. 5 Huntingdon, who sat atop the rankings eight consecutive times over the course of last season, took five first-place votes and came in at No. 5. Guilford earned enough votes to slide in between those two at No. 4. Greensboro, Emory, Rhodes, Illinois Wesleyan and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps rounded out the top 10, in order, with Emory earning the remaining first-place vote.
The Petrels served as one of four SAA teams in the top 25. No. 17 Berry and No. 25 Sewanee joined Oglethorpe and Rhodes in earning the honor. SAA members Centre and Birmingham-Southern were among those receiving votes, as well.
Oglethorpe was also one of four teams from Georgia to earn a spot in the preseason poll, with No. 14 LaGrange joining the Petrels, Emory and Berry. Piedmont also received votes in the poll.
The Petrels get their fall season started Sept. 10 and 11 at the SAA Fall Preview in Dickson, Tennessee. The event will take place at the Greystone Golf Club, a venue which will also serve as host for the SAA Championships in the spring.