Wed, Aug. 29, 2012
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NEW YORK - Defending NAIA champion Oklahoma City University snagged the No. 1 ranking in the Golf World/Nike Golf NAIA men's golf preseason coaches' poll Wednesday.
OCU was the unanimous pick for the top spot. The Stars have won eight NAIA titles, all under head coach Kyle Blaser.
The Stars overcame a four-shot deficit in the final round of the NAIA Championships at Creekside Golf Club in Salem, Ore., to take the title over Oklahoma Christian on March 25. OCU carded 297-298-286-295-1,176 on the tournament.
Junior James Marchesani and senior Michael Palmer lead the returning squad. Both were named NAIA all-Americans in 2011-12. Marchesani, of Rosebud, Victoria, Australia, landed on the first team, and Palmer, of Johannesburg, South Africa, earned second-team honors.
British Columbia, third-place finishers at the national tournament, earned the No. 2 spot in the poll, while Johnson & Wales (Fla.) took third. Texas Wesleyan and Our Lady of the Lake (Texas), both top-10 finishers at last year's NAIA Championships, round out the top five.
Wayland Baptist checked in at No. 14, while Lubbock Christian sat at 15th. Oklahoma Baptist received votes in the poll.
OCU has won NAIA men's golf titles in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2012.