GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Guilford College's men's golf team opens the season in fifth place in the first NCAA Division III Golf World/Nike Golf and Golf Coaches Association of America Coaches' Poll released Monday. Oglethorpe University, the defending national champion, is the number-one team in the poll. The Stormy Petrels earned 12 of the 16 first-place votes. Methodist University ranks second with 374 points and four first-place votes. Transylvania University and the University of Redlands round out the top four. Guilford shares the fifth spot with the University of Texas-Tyler.
The Quakers return four members from last year's team that placed 11th at the NCAA Championships, including senior Noah Ratner, the defending Division III Player of the Year. Ratner is coming off a memorable season that saw him receive the Jack Nicklaus Award from the Golf Coaches Association of America as Division III's top player. He also earned First Team All-American and All-Nicklaus Team honors. Ratner repeated as the ODAC's Player of the Year and held the loop's best individual stroke average at 72.73.
Third-year head coach Corey Maggard's squad opens the season Oct. 1-2 at the Gordin Classic in Columbus, Ohio.