by Tyler Peck, sports information graduate assistant
NEW YORK - The preseason favorite Georgia College & State University retains the No. 1 spot in the first Golf World/Nike Golf Division II Coaches Poll. The poll combines the resources of the Golf World magazine, Nike Golf and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA).
The Bobcats received nine of the 18 first place votes after winning their fall opener, the Kiawah Island Invitational, by seven strokes. At the SpringHill Suites Invitational Georgia College finished fifth, losing to three D-I programs. This past weekend, the ‘Cats were runner up to Newberry College at the State Farm-Laker Collegiate Classic.
Georgia College is one of five Peach Belt Conference (PBC) schools in the top-25, with Columbus State University at No. 2, USC-Aiken at No. 10, Clayton State University at No. 15 and No. 21 Lander University. Rounding out the top-five are No. 3 Barry University, Sonoma State University at No. 4 and Lynn University at No. 5.
Senior leadership from Niclas Johannson (Skanor, Sweden) has helped with the success of Georgia College this fall due in part to Johansson's three top-10 finishes and 71-stroke average. Joe Young (Cochran, Ga.), Billy Shida (Berkeley Lakes, Ga.) and Francisco Bide (Buenos Aires, Argentina) have also been major contributors. Young and Bide have a 71.4 stroke average and Shida is averaging 72.6 per round as all three Bobcats have competed in all three tournaments this fall.
The Bobcat golf team will be back in action Oct. 5-6 at the AFLAC/Cougar Invitational hosted by Columbus State.
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.