TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The Florida State men’s golf team, which finished in a tie for eighth place in the NCAA Division I Championship Finals in 2012, is ranked 16th in the Golf World/Nike Division I Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Seminoles return three of their five starters from last season including seniors Chase Seiffert and Doug Letson who helped lead the team to two tournament championships, a third place finish in the ACC Championship and a tied for third place finish in the NCAA Southwest Regional Championship.
The Seminoles are one of five ACC teams in the first poll of the season with defending ACC Champion Georgia Tech (ranked seventh) leading the way. The Yellow Jackets are followed by Florida State (16th), Duke (21st), Virginia (22nd) and Clemson (24th) as the ACC is the third most represented conference in the poll. The SEC and the Pac 12 lead the way with six teams in the top 25. Alabama of the SEC is ranked first after finishing as the national runner-up to Texas in the 2012 championship finals. The Longhorns are ranked second with three Pac 12 schools (Cal, UCLA and Washington) rounding out the top five.
“This time last year not many people would have picked our team as one of the top teams in the nation at seasons end,” said 10th year Seminole head coach Trey Jones. “That in itself shows the importance of preseason rankings. Each team has a lot of questions to be answered this year and we are no different. The important thing is for each player to not only accept their new role but to excel in this role. I am confident each player will continue to improve.”
Florida State was ranked 16th in the final 2012 GolfWorld/Nike Coaches’ Poll and have been ranked in the top 20 in two of the last three seasons. The Seminoles were ranked sixth nationally following the 2010 season when they finished in a tie for third place at the NCAA Championship finals.
Seiffert is Florida State’s leading returning golfer and one of only eight returning All-ACC selections from the 2012 season. He finished his junior season with a 72.50 stroke average and led Florida State with a third place finish at the Gator Invitational. Seiffert enjoyed an outstanding summer of 2012 as he became the first player in history to win the individual championships at the Florida Amateur, the Florida Open and the Florida Amateur Match Play tournaments.
Seiffert won five individual championships and was an incredible cumulative total of 53 strokes under par during his summer events.
“The national ranking is a solid preseason ranking for our team,” said Seiffert. “We are going to miss Brooks (Koepka), Wes (Graham) and Kyle (Cobb) who are all key losses, but we have a solid group of returning players and four freshmen who are very talented. This is a super-competitive and very motivated team which should allow us to have a fun and successful season.”
Letson, who finished with a career-low 72.81 stroke average as a junior, was the Seminoles’ leader at the Gary Koch Invitational as he finished in a tie for 10th place in the individual standings. After helping lead the Seminoles to their seventh consecutive NCAA Championship appearance he missed playing the Championship Finals after breaking two fingers on his lead hand in a team weightlifting accident only a week before the event. Letson begins the fall season fully healed and anxious to play.
“In addition to the members of our team feeling very confident about the upcoming season our solid national ranking proves that many people around the nation feel very good about our program,” said Letson. “We all feel that we have the talent to be a top five team and by the end of the spring we should put ourselves into a great position to compete for the national championship again.”
The Seminoles begin their four match fall schedule at the Inverness Intercollegiate at the Inverness Club in Inverness, Ohio, Sept. 17-18.
Golf World/Nike Golf Men’s Coaches’ Poll
Preseason / Sept. 3, 2012
NCAA Division I
Rank Team (FPV) Points 2012 NCAA Finish
1. Alabama (13) 558 Runners-up
2. Texas (8) 514 Champion
3. California (1) 483 Final Fore
4. UCLA 474 Elite 8
5. Washington (1) 408 Elite 8
6. Auburn 390 Tied/15th
7. Georgia Tech 374 Regionals
8. Arkansas 358 Regionals
9. USC 348 Tied/15th
10. Texas A&M 333 14th
11. Stanford 299 Tied/19th
12. Florida 271 Tied/12th
13. UNLV 228 Regionals
14. Oregon 226 Final Fore
15. North Florida 215 Tied/12th
16. Florida State 212 Tied/8th
17. San Diego State 211 Elite 8
18. Kent State 183 Elite 8
19. Georgia 161 17th
20. UCF 144 Tied/19th
21. Duke 141 Regionals
22. Virginia 128 Tied/22nd
23. New Mexico 105 Regionals
24. Clemson 93 Regionals
25. Oklahoma 92 11th