ELMHURST, Ill. - After capturing its first league title in school history, UMKC has been selected as the men's golf preseason favorite as voted on by the league's 10 head coaches. The Kangaroos tallied 74 points and three first-place votes.
IUPUI collected six first-place votes and 73 points, falling one point shy of UMKC, followed by Southern Utah with 67 points and the final first-place tally. Oral Roberts placed fourth with 56 points while only five points separated the next four positions. South Dakota State collected 41 points, IPFW had 39 points, Western Illinois recorded 37 points and Oakland earned 36 points. North Dakota State (17 points) and South Dakota (10 points) rounded out the voting.
The Kangaroos have been in the top two of The Summit League standings the last four seasons, winning their first title last year. Reigning Coach of the Year J.W. VanDenBorn returns all five members of his championship team, including Newcomer of the Year Cole Chelle. The sophomore has a 75.08 stroke average after the fall season. Also returning are all-tournament selections, Viktor Mikaelsson and Will Robson along with second team all-league selection Korbin Kuehn. Robson is currently second in the league with a 72.42 average, while Mikaelsson has a 76.17 average and Kuehn has a 73.25 average.
IUPUI's Michael Powell leads the Jaguars into the spring season after capturing the individual championship a year ago with a 54-hole 208 (72-69-67). The senior, an all-tournament team honoree last year, is third in the league after the fall season with a 72.70 average. His teammate, Michael Davan, leads The Summit League with a 71.95 stroke average and captured the Fossum Invitational and UD Invitational titles. Davan also sunk a hole-in-one at the Butler Fall Invitational.
Southern Utah returns the reigning Golfer of the Year in Jeff Evans. Evans was named first team all-league and selected to the all-tournament team last season. He has recorded a fall stroke average of 73.40 which is second on the Thunderbird team behind Nic Booth's 73.27 average.
The Golden Eagles return their top three scorers from last season including junior David Holtgrewe. Holtgrewe is sixth in the league after the fall season with a 73.33 stroke average. Shannon Allen also returns for his junior campaign and has collected a 75.83 average following the fall portion of the schedule.
An experienced South Dakota State team welcomes back its entire roster from a year ago. The Jackrabbits are led by David Smith and Nolan Meyer. Smith's 74.50 average is currently 10th in the league, while Meyer has a 74.57 stroke average and was named to the all-tournament team last season. Smith placed first at the Kansas Invitational, while Meyer also had a first-place finish against Northern Colorado.
IPFW's top three scorers return and are led by junior Drew Imel. Imel concluded the fall season with a 74.55 stroke average to rank 12th in The Summit League. Bruno Carvalho (76.18 average) and Tomaz Pinheiro (76.63 average) are also welcomed back to the Mastodon team.
The Leathernecks also return their entire lineup from a year ago and are led by senior Andrew Godfrey. Godfrey has posted a 75.60 fall stroke average, while Kurt Slattery is second on the team with a 75.33 average.
Oakland is led into the spring season by all-league selections Phil Gieseker (73.50 average) and Michael Coriasso (74.50 average) who are both ranked in the top-10 in the league.
Zach Stenstad leads North Dakota State after collecting a 76.00 stroke average in the fall season. Meanwhile, league newcomer South Dakota was paced by Lucas Turner's 76.27 fall stroke average.
The Summit League Golf Championships will be held at the Primm Valley Golf Club in Primm, Nev., April 23-24. The team champion will earn the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Men's Golf Tournament.
2012 Men's Golf Preseason Poll
Team Points (1st)
1. UMKC 74 (3)
2. IUPUI 73 (6)
3. Southern Utah 67 (1)
4. Oral Roberts 56
5. South Dakota State 41
6. IPFW 39
7. Western Illinois 37
8. Oakland 36
9. North Dakota State 17
10. South Dakota 10