Men's Golf Now Top-Ranked SEC Team

by Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
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Men's Golf Now Top-Ranked SEC Team

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Tigers are ranked as high as No. 3 nationally by Golfweek in the wake of their school-record setting performance at The Prestige at PGA West held in La Quinta, California, last week as they are now the highest ranked men’s golf team in the Southeastern Conference following their opening event of the 2015 spring season.

Not only are the Tigers the No. 3-ranked team by Golfweek, but they are also the SEC’s top-ranked team at No. 5 in the Bushnell Golfweek Coaches’ Top 25 poll and No. 6 in the Golfstat power rankings also released in recent days. The Golfweek and coaches’ polls were released on Friday, while the latest Golfstat ranking was updated on Wednesday of last week.

On the strength of a team score of 15-under par 273 in Wednesday’s final round, the Tigers fired a school-record tournament score of 21-under par 843 to tie for fourth place at The Prestige at PGA West.

Senior Myles Lewis and sophomore Eric Ricard each fired career-low scores in the final round with Lewis posting a 7-under 65 and Ricard carding a 6-under 66 to lead the Tigers to a tie for fourth place in a loaded field of 14 teams playing at the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West. Lewis matched his best 54-hole tournament score as an LSU Tiger at 10-under par 206 to tie for fourth place, while Ricard smashed his career-best score at 9-under par 207 to tie for seventh place on the final leaderboard.

Also making a splash in his sophomore debut for the Tigers at The Prestige at PGA West was Brandon Pierce, who posted a three-round score of 7-under 209 to tie for 10th place individually, including impressive rounds of 4-under 68 in the first and 3-under 69 in the final round in his first action this campaign after sitting out the entire 2014 fall season with a back injury.

LSU’s performance at The Prestige at PGA West continued their momentum from the fall season that featured back-to-back tournament titles at the Golfweek Conference Challenge in September and the David Toms Intercollegiate in October before wrapping up the fall campaign with a third-place finish in a loaded field at the U.S. Collegiate Championship in mid-October.

The SEC is among the leading conferences in men’s college golf once again in 2014-15 as the Tigers currently headline a group of five schools ranked among the Top 25 programs nationally in the three major polls.

No. 3-ranked LSU is joined by No. 8 Auburn, No. 9 Alabama, No. 12 Vanderbilt and No. 19 South Carolina in the latest Golfweek Men’s Collegiate Team Rankings released on Friday. While capturing a No. 5 ranking in the latest Bushnell Golfweek Coaches’ Top 25, the Tigers are also joined by No. 12 Vanderbilt, No. 14 South Carolina, No. 16 Alabama and No. 17 Auburn. In this week’s Golfstat Top 25, the No. 6-ranked Tigers are joined by No. 9 South Carolina, No. 12 Vanderbilt, No. 19 Alabama and No. 20 Auburn.

The Tigers will resume their 2015 spring season this coming weekend when they make a return trip this spring to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to compete at the Querencia Cabo Collegiate being held at Querencia Golf Club from March 1-3. They will then follow with an appearance at Talis Park Challenge on March 15-16 at Talis Park Golf Club in Naples, Florida.

Golfweek Men’s Collegiate Team Rankings (as of Feb. 20)

Team (Rating) Schedule Rank
1. Illinois (68.89) 71.93 (28)
2. Florida State (69.70) 71.98 (33)
3. LSU (69.88) 71.59 (16)
4. Wake Forest (69.96) 71.38 (11)
5. Georgia Tech (70.00) 71.49 (14)
6. Baylor (70.03) 71.90 (26)
7. North Carolina (70.06) 71.93 (27)
8. Auburn (70.10) 71.37 (10)
9. Alabama (70.15) 71.56 (15)
10. Texas (70.17) 71.04 (2)
11. Stanford (70.19) 71.27 (6)
12. Vanderbilt (70.20) 71.18 (4)
13. UCLA (70.22) 71.48 (13)
14. South Florida (70.24) 72.22 (51)
15. Southern California (70.25) 71.77 (23)
16. Texas Tech (70.28) 71.28 (7)
17. Oregon (70.31) 71.73 (21)
18. Arizona State (70.36) 72.22 (52)
19. South Carolina (70.40) 71.69 (19)
20. Virginia (70.45) 71.65 (18)
21. Oklahoma (70.68) 71.42 (12)
22. Washington (70.70) 71.30 (8)
23. Oklahoma State (70.71) 70.99 (1)
24. Kennesaw State (70.77) 73.14 (114)
25. UNLV (70.80) 72.05 (39)

Bushnell Golfweek Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (as of Feb. 20)

Team (Points) Previous Rank
1. Illinois (447) 2
2. Oregon (422) 1
3. Florida State (412) 3
4. Georgia Tech (357) 9
5. LSU (352) 8
6. Baylor (329) 7
7. Texas (312) 5
8. Wake Forest (311) 10
9. North Carolina (276) T17
10. Southern California (269) 14
11. UCLA (267) 4
12. Vanderbilt (240) 6
13. Arizona State (233) NR
14. South Carolina (219) 13
15. Virginia (185) 12
16. Alabama (184) 16
17. Auburn (183) 11
18. South Florida (177) 23
19. Texas Tech (159) T17
20. Stanford (139) 15
21. Washington (125) 20
22. Oklahoma State (65) 25
23. Kennesaw State (48) 24
24. Oklahoma (42) 19
25. UNLV (35) NR

Golfstat Top 25 (as of Feb. 18)

1. Illinois
2. Oregon
3. Florida State
4. Southern California
5. Texas
6. LSU
7. Georgia Tech
8. Baylor
9. South Carolina
10. Wake Forest
11. North Carolina
12. Vanderbilt
13. South Florida
14. UCLA
15. Texas Tech
16. Arizona State
17. Virginia
18. Washington
19. Alabama
20. Auburn
21. Stanford
22. Kennesaw State
23. California
24. UNLV
25. Oklahoma