by Tyler Peck, sports information graduate
NEW YORK - The Georgia College & State University golf team held the No. 1 ranking for six weeks before dropping one spot in the latest Golf World/Nike Golf Division II Coaches' Poll released today (Oct. 14). Barry University took the top spot in the second poll of the fall season. The poll combines the resources of Golf World magazine, Nike Golf and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA).
The Bobcats earned three of the 17 first-place votes after finishing second at the State Farm-Laker Collegiate and sixth at the AFLAC/Cougar Invitational.
At the State Farm tournament, senior Niclas Johannson (Skanor, Sweden) led Georgia College by finishing tied for fifth at five-under 139. Junior Joe Young (Cochran, Ga.) led the Bobcats at the AFLAC/Cougar, tying for sixth with a final round 68 (-3) and total of 141 (-1).
Francisco Bide (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Billy Shida (Berkeley Lakes, Ga.) join Young and Johannson with one finish each in the top-five this season. Both Johannson and Young have finished in the top-10 in three of the four tourneys for the ‘Cats this fall season with the Georgia College team finishing in the top-five three times.
Young is averaging 71.2 strokes a round and Bide is right behind him at 71.8 strokes. Johannson is dead-on 72 strokes per 18 holes while Shida is averaging 72.8 strokes.
Barry earned 12 of the 17 first-place votes. The University of North Alabama finished No. 3, Lynn University at No. 4 and at No. 5 was St. Edward's University.
Four other Peach Belt Conference (PBC) schools finished in the top-25 with Columbus State University at No. 8, USC Aiken ranked No. 16, Lander University No. 18 and Clayton State University tied for No. 25.
Georgia College will hit the links Sept. 19-20 at the Mizuno Savannah Intercollegiate hosted by Georgia Southern University.
The GCSU Department of Athletics, winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.