NORMAN, Okla. – The Florida Southern men's golf team has ended the fall portion of it schedule ranked No. 6 in the Bushnell Golfweek Division II Coaches Poll released on November 16. The Moccasins maintained their position from the previous poll, and the top six remained virtually unchanged, with five of those schools from the Sunshine State Conference.
Barry is now a unanimous No. 1, receiving all 20 first-place votes for a total of 500 points. The Buccaneers won three of their four tournaments during the fall and finished second in another. Lynn and Florida Tech are ranked second and third respectively and are separated by just three points (459-456). Lynn is the only team to defeat Barry so far, winning the Otter Invitational hosted by Cal State-Monterey Bay by eight shots over the Buccaneers. The Knights also finished just three shots behind the Bucs at the NCAA Division II National Preview in early October where they were the tournament runner-up.
The only change in the top six occurred at No. 4 and No. 5 where Saint Leo and West Florida reversed their positions from the previous poll. Saint Leo had 416 points, followed by West Florida with 409. Florida Southern then checked in at No. 6 with 354 points. That puts the Moccasins 11 points ahead of No. 7 Western Washington, which moved up one spot.
Completing the top-10 are Chico State, Oklahoma Christian, and Nova Southeastern. Chico State is new to the top-10, but was just outside that group in the October 19 poll at No. 11. Oklahoma Christian mad the biggest jump in the new poll, climbing from 16th to ninth.
In addition to the six schools in the top-10, the Sunshine State Conference is also represented by Rollins at No. 18.
The Moccasins have been led by senior Michael VanDerLaan, who posted a 73.00 stroke average during the fall. That's the best of his career to date, and he's coming off an 11th-place finish at the Otter Invitational. His best performance of the fall came in the Cougar Invitational where he tied for fourth out of 90 golfers with a five-under-par 208.
Junior Chase Ibbotson, senior Christian Anderson and freshman Max Coutsolioutsos have played in all four fall tournaments too, and that trio is separated by just eight total strokes on the stat sheet. Of that group, Ibbotson had the best individual finish of the fall, tying for sixth place in the Cougar Invitational with a six-under-par 209. Anderson had a pair of top-20 showings with a -1 at the Cougar Invitational and a +3 at the Otter Invitational.
The Moccasins have also received a boost from another freshman, Johnny Tucker, who has played in the last two tournaments and turned in a 73.50 stroke average.
Florida Southern resumes the season February 11-12 when it hosts the 38th annual Matlock Collegiate Classic.
For the complete NCAA Division II national poll, click here.