Oklahoma State Men & Arizona State Women Capture No.1 Spots in Division I Preseason Coaches’ Polls; Oklahoma State’s Morgan Hoffmann and Southern California’s Jennifer Song Top Magazine’s Lists of Players to Watch
NEW YORK, NY-Golf World has published the results of its latest preseason College Coaches’ Polls and its list of the Top 50 male and female “Players to Watch.” The content, which is part of Golf World’s annual College Preview issue, will be featured in the September 7 issue of the magazine and can be viewed online at www.golfworld.com.
On the men’s side, Oklahoma State starts the 2009-10 season as the top team in the preseason Golf World/Nike Golf Division I Preseason Coaches’ Poll, receiving 12 of the 26 first-place votes. The Cowboys return All-American Morgan Hoffmann and U.S. Walker Cup team member Peter Uihlein from a squad that had five victories and 10 top-five finishes a year ago. It’s the first time Oklahoma State has been the preseason No. 1 since the 2006-07 season.
Washington is ranked second in the poll, earning nine first-place votes. The Huskies are the defending Pac-10 champions and return all five starters from last year’s lineup that advanced to the match-play portion of the NCAA Championship.
Rounding out the top-five are Georgia (No. 3), Alabama (No. 4) and Stanford (No. 5).
Defending NCAA champion Texas A&M is ranked No. 7, having received three first-place votes. The only other school to get a first-place vote is Southern California, which is ranked No. 10 in the poll.
Morgan Hoffmann, a sophomore from Oklahoma State and first-team All-American, is number one on Golf World’s list of the “Top 50 Male Players to Watch.” The rest of the top-ten includes: No. 2 Nick Taylor (Washington); No. 3 Matt Hill (N.C. State); No. 4 Bud Cauley (Alabama); No. 5 Matthew Giles (Southern California); No. 6 Peter Uilhein (Oklahoma State); No. 7 Russell Henley (Georgia); No. 8 Gregor Main (UCLA); No. 9 Kevin Foley (Penn State); No. 10 John Hahn (Kent State).
On the women’s side, Arizona State, which captured its record seventh NCAA title last May, is the number one team in the Golf World/NGCA Division I Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Sun Devils earned 34 of 41 first-place votes to grab the top spot in the preseason poll for the first time since Melissa Luellen took over as the coach just prior to the 2002-03 season. Three starters return for ASU, including first-team All-American Carlota Ciganda, who was the runner-up this past summer at the British Ladies Amateur Championship.
Pac-10 rivals Southern California and UCLA are ranked Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, in the poll. Both earned first-place votes, the Trojans receiving five and the Bruins getting two.
Oklahoma State (No. 4) and Denver (No. 5) round out the top-five.
Jennifer Song, a sophomore from Southern California, is number one on the list of the “Top 50 Female Players to Watch.” She is followed by: No. 2 Carlota Ciganda (Arizona State); No. 3 Caroline Hedwall (Oklahoma State); No. 4 Candace Schepperle (Auburn); No. 5 Lizette Salas (Southern California); No. 6 Stephanie Sherlock (Denver); No. 7 Jennifer Johnson (Arizona State); No. 8 Jodi Ewart (New Mexico); No. 9 Stephanie Kono (UCLA); No. 10 Kimberly Kim (Denver).
Visit Golf World Senior Writer Ryan Herrington’s “Campus Insider” blog to find out the latest on collegiate golf: http://www.golfdigest.com/magazine/blogs/campusinsider.
Bret Hopman, 212-286-2059