0

GSW golf ranked No. 2 in Division II

Georgia Southwestern golf coach Andrew Danna is in his second year as head coach and has led his team to three victories this fall.

Georgia Southwestern golf coach Andrew Danna is in his second year as head coach and has led his team to three victories this fall.

AMERICUS — Georgia Southwestern’s historic golf season became even more distinguished Wednesday.

The Hurricanes, who won three tournaments this fall, are ranked No. 2 in the latest NCAA Division II Golfstat standings.

GSW coach Andrew Danna said the ranking, which is the lowest in the program’s history, shows how hard his team has worked since being ranked outside of the Top 100 at this time last season.

“This is a pretty cool feeling,” Danna said. “I was impressed with the way they played this fall. They have had five good finishes, and this ranking is well deserved. They worked really hard for this.

“The guys are excited. The work ethic that this team has is unbelievable. I think this reassured them that what they are doing is working. Maybe it will motivate them more in the offseason to keep this level of play going into the spring.”

The Hurricanes, who moved up four slots from last week and now sit behind only West Florida, have been led all season by junior J.P. Griffin, junior Nate Gahman — a Leesburg native and former Herald Player of the Year — and senior Craig Gibson.

Griffin, Gahman and Gibson are ranked in the top 11 of the Peach Belt Conference in scoring average.

“They have been steady for the entire fall season,” Danna said. “They work hard. Since they have had some success, it shows what their hard work has given them.”

Gibson ranks fourth while shooting close to par with a 72.3. Gibson won the 90-player Aflac/Cougar Invitational on Oct. 3-4. He has a pair of second place finishes to go along with the Aflac/Cougar title.

Griffin ranks sixth with a 72.8 scoring average. Griffin claimed a second-place finish at the season-opening Kiawah Island Invitational and tied for third at the Aflac/Cougar.

Gahman ranks 11th in the PBC. His best finish was a tie for second at the RTJ Grand National Challenge on Sept. 17. Gahman’s average score is 73.3.

GSW ended the fall season on Tuesday with a second-place finish in the nine-team Laker Collegiate Invitational in Hamption.

Gibson moved up seven spots this week to 178 in the Golfstat Cup standings.

GSW holds the lowest single-round score in the Peach Belt Conference this season with a 279 in the third round of the Aflac/Cougar led by Griffin’s 66, which is the low round by an individual in the PBC this fall.

The Hurricanes resume play in February when the spring schedule opens with the Frito Lay AT&T Intercollegiate Feb. 17 in Philadelphia, Miss.

The Golfstat Cup, presented to the top collegiate golfer based on scoring average and conditions, includes particpants in all NCAA Divisions, NAIA and junior colleges. Past winners of the Golfstat Cup include PGA Tour members Rickie Fowler (2007-08), Graeme McDowell (2001-02), Charles Howell (1999-2000), Luke Donald (1998-99) and Tiger Woods (1995-96).