Posted: Apr 14, 2014 4:51 PM by Tori Chamberlain, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer
Updated: Apr 14, 2014 5:36 PM
FULTON - For the first time in program history, the William Woods University men's golf team is ranked No. 1 in the Golfstat rankings, while in the latest NAIA top 25 poll, the team comes in at No. 3, which also marks its highest ranking ever.
In the NAIA top 25 poll, the team is receiving four first place votes, which is the first time for the men's golf team. The Owls leapfrogged up to No. 1 in Golfstat and No. 3 in the NAIA poll, after winning the William Woods University Spring Invite and the NAIA Classic at the Brickyard by a combined 58-strokes.
At the WWU Spring Invite, the team scored a 563, while also setting a new school record being 11-under par through 18 holes of play and 13-under par through 36 holes.
Junior Julian Taylor won the WWU Spring Invite for the second consecutive year at Tanglewood G.C., after he turned in his scorecard with an 8-under-par 136, which also earned him AMC and NAIA National Golfer of the Week honors for the second time this season.
At the NAIA Classic at the Brickyard, the Owls totaled a 587 and despite playing in the rain and dealing with multiple suspensions of play, senior Andrew Davis tied for first place, after scoring a 1-over-par 145.
Another reason for such success this year has been the freshman, as the Owls currently have the No. 1-ranked freshman class in the NAIA.
Leading the way thus far for the newcomers has been Billy McKenzie, who holds an average score of 73.06, which is 27th-best in the NAIA. During the fall season, he and Taylor made amateur golf history, as they scored an albatross (double eagle 3-under par) at the WWU Fall Invitational just 30 minutes apart on the par five 509 17th hole.
Matt Wells, a Iifracombe, England, native, has also made a strong impact this year for the team, as in the fall season, he finished in the top five three times, including ending up in second place (twice) at the Mid-South Invitational and the WWU Fall Invitational.
David Houlding, a Leeds, England, native, finished in the top 15 in all four tournaments during the fall season, while this spring he has finished in the top five three times, including winning his first collegiate event with teammate Billy McKenzie at the Challenge at Dalhousie, as the duo scored a 1-over-par 145 and led the Owls to a 36-shot victory.
This men's golf team has been absolutely unstoppable when they step on the course, as their lowest placing on the season came all the way back at the Mid-South at Sand Creek, where they ended up in third, while in its six victories during the 2013-14 season, the Owls have won by a combined 137-strokes.
The Owls are well on their way to winning the American Midwest Conference Championship, which is set to begin on April 28th. Then, they look to head onto the NAIA National Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida, where they would enter as one of the heavy favorites to bring home the programs' first National Championship.