TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – For the first time in school history the Alabama women's golf team has ascended to the top of the Golf World/NGCA Division I Coaches' Poll, which was released on Thursday.
Head coach Mic Potter's team received 21 of a possible 29 first-place votes to overtake preseason No. 1 Southern California. The Crimson Tide's move up the rankings comes on the heels of a victory at the NCAA Fall Preview on September 13-15 at the Traditions Golf Club in Bryan, Texas, which will host the 2011 NCAA Championship.
"It is good to see your name up there at the top of the list," Potter said. "I think this definitely indicates a jump from where we were five years ago and it is always nice to be recognized by your peers."
Alabama shot a school-record 15-under-par 849 to edge SEC foe and this week's No. 4 team LSU by one shot at the NCAA Fall Preview. Two separate Crimson Tide players – Brooke Pancake and Camilla Lennarth – carded 65s (-7) during the tournament while Jennifer Kirby shot a final-round 66. All three players finished in the top 10 with Lennarth and Pancake tying for fourth and Kirby finishing tied for ninth.
The Tide then shot 5-under-par 859 in the second tournament of the fall at the Mason Rudolph Women's Championship to finish sixth as Lennarth posted her second straight top-five showing. In six rounds this season, Alabama has not shot above par and are currently averaging 284.67 strokes per round or 3.33 shot below par.
Lennarth, a senior from Stocklhom, Sweden, is leads a scorching pace individually for the Tide. She is averaging 70.0 over the first two tournaments with 5-of-6 rounds under par and two in the 60s. Pancake is close behind, posting a 70.33 scoring average with three under-par rounds and a 65 and 67 on the scorecard.
The Crimson Tide captured the school's first Southeastern Conference Championship in the spring of 2010 and then went on to post a third-place showing at the NCAA Championship, the best in school history.
"The big thing is that if you look at those top 5-6 schools, it's going to be a dogfight all year," Potter said. "Every tournament is going to change that top 5-6 a little bit. I think we will win more and I think other schools will win more. It is just going to be a matter of getting prepared for SECs and NCAAs and see how good we can get by that point."
Southern California slips to No. 2 in this week's poll with Duke third and LSU fourth while UCLA rounds out the top five. Georgia and Vanderbilt of the SEC are next at six and seven with Auburn 12th, South Carolina 20th, Florida 23rd and Tennessee 24th all representing the SEC in the top 25.
Alabama returns to action on October 8-10 at the Tar Heel Invitational at the Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
GOLF WORLD/NGCA GOLF COACHES' POLL
Women's Division I
Rank Team Points Last
1. Alabama (21) 712 4
2. USC (4) 688 1
3. Duke 617 5
4. LSU 591 16
5. UCLA (2) 559 2
6. Georgia 489 13
7. Vanderbilt 464 10
8. Arizona 447 7
9. Purdue (2) 428 3
10. Virginia 365 9
11. North Carolina 350 NR
12. Auburn 343 6
13. Oregon 323 NR
14. Tulane 273 NR
15. Wake Forest 254 8
16. Michigan State 246 15
17. California 203 20
18. Ohio State 199 NR
19. Pepperdine 184 11
20. South Carolina 160 22
21. Colorado 156 NR
22. Texas 128 25
23. Florida 121 19
24. Tennessee 112 12
25. Stanford 105 14
First-place votes in parenthesis … SEC in italics
Also receiving votes: Oklahoma, 100; Mississippi, 98; Denver, 97; Texas A&M, 90; Florida State, 88; Oklahoma State, 53; UC Davis, 52; Arizona State, 44; Florida International, 31; TCU, 23; Iowa State, 22; Louisville, 22; UNC Greensboro, 21; New Mexico, 20; Arkansas State, 18; Northern Arizona, 18; Arkansas, 16; Iowa, 14; Mississippi State, 14; Washington State, 11; Kansas, 9; Kansas State, 8; Tulsa, 8; Fresno State, 7; Memphis, 6; Baylor, 5; San Diego State, 5; San Francisco, 3; Long Beach State, 2; New Mexico State, 2; Jacksonville State, 1.
INFORMATION SOURCE: University of Alabama Athletics
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