DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke men’s golf team, winners of the 2013 ACC Championship, is ranked 15th in the Golf World/Nike Golf Division I College Preseason Coaches’ Poll, combining the resources of Golf World magazine, Nike Golf and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). The Blue Devils return five letterwinners from last season’s squad that set a school record with five tournament victories.
Defending NCAA champion Alabama starts its title defense as the No. 1 ranked team in the Golf World/Nike Golf 2013-14 preseason men's Division I coaches' poll. The Crimson Tide claimed the school's first national championship in any men's sport outside of football last June when they defeated Illinois in the championship match at Capital City Club's Crabapple Course. Three of the five starters from that squad, which won its last six tournaments, return, as Alabama earned 10 of the available 20 first-place votes to claim the top spot in the preseason poll for the second consecutive year.
No. 2 in the poll is California, a semifinalist at last year's NCAA Championship and winners of 11 tournament titles in 2012-13. The Golden Bears earned nine first-place votes and are led by college player of the year Michael Kim as well as fellow U.S. Walker Cup player Michael Weaver and All-Americans Brandon Hagy and Joel Stalter.
Texas claimed the No. 3 spot, earning the remaining first place vote. The Longhorns reach match played at last year's NCAAs and have talented freshmen Beau Hossler and Gavin Hall ready to jump into the lineup. Rounding out the top five are Georgia Tech and Washington.
Nine different conferences had teams in the top 25, led by seven from the SEC and five from the Pac-12.
Duke opens the 2013-14 campaign Sept. 14-15 at the Tar Heel Intercollegiate at Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill. The Blue Devils captured the team title at last year’s Tar Heel Intercollegiate as five Duke players finished in the top 15 overall.
Golf World/Nike Golf Coaches’ Poll
1. Alabama (10)
2. California (9)
3. Texas (1)
4. Georgia Tech
8. Oklahoma State
10. New Mexico
13. Florida State
19. Texas A&M
22. Kent State
24. North Florida