The Oglethorpe men's golf team rose to No. 16 in the final Division III Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll of the regular season, released Friday by the Golf Coaches Association of America. It marked the fourth consecutive poll in which the Stormy Petrels appeared. The SAA champions, unranked to start the spring, slowly rose up the rankings as their outstanding spring season unfolded. They entered the poll at No. 25, then rose to No. 20 before settling at 16th on Friday.
The Petrels earned their third SAA title and 13th overall conference championship Sunday in Dickson, Tennessee, at the SAA tournament. They ran away from the field at the 54-hole event, winning by 23 strokes over their nearest competitor after shooting 10-under-par 854 on the weekend.
With that, they earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships. They'll rejoin the national tournament field for the 19th time in program history May 14-17 at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky.
The Petrels also finished sixth at the Emory Spring Invitational in nearby Stone Mountain April 20 and 21.
Emory received 11 of a possible 19 first-place votes to finish in the top spot for the eighth straight poll. Huntingdon, who won the Emory Spring Invitational, accrued the remaining eight No. 1 votes and came in second. Illinois Wesleyan slotted in at No. 3, Wittenberg at No. 4, and Methodist at No. 5, all three remaining in the spots they held down in the previous poll. Guilford, Southwestern (Texas), Washington and Lee, Redlands, and Carnegie Mellon rounded out the top 10.
Oglethorpe moved into the top spot among SAA teams, vaulting four spots up the rankings. Rhodes climbed a spot to No. 18, while Berry rose a couple to No. 19. Sewanee received votes in the poll, as well, but not enough to break into the top 25.
The final coaches' poll will come after the NCAA tournament and reflect team finishes in that event.