Men's Golf Adds Transfer Taylor for 2013-14
BATON ROUGE – In the wake of their third appearance at the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships in four seasons, the LSU Tigers have strengthened their squad for the 2013-14 season with the addition of the premier player in the NCAA Division II ranks as Ben Taylor is set to transfer following two seasons at Nova Southeastern University.
Taylor has emerged as one of the elite amateur golfers worldwide over the last two seasons while establishing a championship pedigree at the collegiate and international levels.
A native of Leatherhead, England, Taylor is even competed this weekend as part of the 10-man European team at the 2013 Palmer Cup held at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Del. The Palmer Cup is an annual Ryder Cup-style competition featuring the 10 best collegiate golfers from the United States and Europe.
Taylor is the only player from the NCAA Division II ranks among the 20 players competing at the Palmer Cup this weekend as he is truly one of the nation’s premier collegiate players regardless of classification.
“We’re excited that Ben will be joining our program for the fall semester,” said LSU head coach Chuck Winstead. “He’s certainly one of the best amateur players in England, and has enjoyed much success in college golf here in the United States. He’ll be a great addition to an experienced team we return in the fall.”
Taylor has led the way for the NCAA’s premier program in the Division II ranks over the past two seasons as a two-time NCAA Division II First-Team All-American and a two-time Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year while earning back-to-back first-team all-conference honors in 2012 and 2013 during his stint at Nova Southeastern University.
He led the Sharks to the NCAA Division II national championship in his debut season in 2012 en route to winning the Jack Nicklaus Award as the NCAA Division II Collegiate Player of the Year. Taylor finished in third place overall on the final stroke play leaderboard before leading Nova Southeastern to the national championship with a 5-0 shutout of Chico State in the national championship match in their season finale.
It was a 2011-12 season that saw Nova Southeastern complete the title sweep as the Sharks also captured the Sunshine State Conference team championship as the undisputed No. 1-ranked team in the country.
Taylor, the 2012 SSC individual champion, earned SSC Player of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons in 2012 and 2013 while leading the Sharks with identical scoring averages of 70.94 strokes per round in each of the two seasons he spent at the university based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Taylor claimed a total of five tournament titles and earned an impressive 16 top-five finishes and 19 top-10 finishes in his 23 tournament starts for the Sharks in his two seasons with the program.
He caps a strong class of newcomers joining the Tigers for the 2013-14 season as they will also welcome a pair of in-state standouts in Brandon Pierce of Covington, La., and Eric Ricard of Shreveport, La.
Pierce is currently the No. 26-ranked junior golfer in the country regardless of class and the No. 11-ranked member of the Class of 2013 by the National Junior Golf Scoreboard. The service has also tabbed Ricard for the No. 54 ranking among all junior golfers in the country and the No. 27 ranking among prep recruits in the Class of 2013.