Denver Tabbed Preseason #SummitMGF Favorite

photo by Jeff Tuttle
photo by Jeff Tuttle

ELMHURST, Ill. – The Denver Pioneers have been selected as the favorite to capture The Summit League's men's golf title in a poll of the league's head coaches.

South Dakota State, last season's champion, was picked second followed closely by 2015 champion South Dakota in third. The Pioneers collected seven-of-nine first-place votes, while the Jackrabbits garnered the remaining two first-place tallies.


#SummitMGF Notes

  • Denver was selected as the preseason favorite for the third time in the last four years. The Pioneers won The Summit League Championship in 2014, its first year in the league.
  • A total of four All-Summit League performers return, two on both the first and second teams.
  • Three-of-five all-tournament team golfers return for the 2016-17 season with a pair being from Omaha in Kevin Gordon and Ben Maskus
  • The last three Championship MVP honors have all come from squads that did not win the team title.
  • Three golfers captured individual titles during the fall season. Denver's Petter Mikalsen won the Paintbrush Invitational, Fort Wayne's Devin Jenkins captured the NKU Fall Classic title and South Dakota's Matt Tolan earned top prize at the UNO Invitational.
  • Entering the spring season, Denver has the league's lowest team stroke average (294.0), while Oral Roberts' Cody Burrows (73.0) is tops as an individual.

#SummitMGF Schedule Notes

  • The 2017 spring season begins Jan. 23 with Denver and South Dakota State participating in the Arizona Intercollegiate. 
  • The regular season concludes on April 17-18 with North Dakota State taking part in the Cal Poly Shootout. 
  • All nine Summit League teams will travel to Newton, Kan., from April 30-May 2 for The Summit League Championship at the Sand Creek Station Golf Club. 

2017 MEN'S GOLF PRESEASON POLL

Rank

School (1st-place votes)

Pts.

2016 Finish

1.

Denver (7)

62

T-7th

2.

South Dakota State (2)

54

1st

3.

South Dakota

53

9th

4.

Oral Roberts

36

5th

5.

Fort Wayne

35

4th

6.

North Dakota State

28

6th

7.

Omaha

23

2nd

8.

IUPUI

21

T-7th

9.

Western Illinois

12

3rd


*Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team.


Golfers to Watch

Chris Korte, Denver – Jr.
- Earned Second Team All-Summit League Honors in 2016
- Finished tied for second at the 2016 Summit League Championship and named to All-Tournament Team
- Finished tied for sixth in the Summit League in scoring average (74.7) to conclude the 2015-16 campaign

Devin Jenkins, Fort Wayne – Sr.
- Three-time Summit League Academic Honor Roll recipient
- Ranks first on his Mastodon team and third in the league with a 73.36 stroke average
- Two-time Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence honoree

Austin Crowder, IUPUI – So.
- Finished the 2015-16 season with a 76.80 average, which ranked fourth on the Jaguar squad
- Has recorded three top-10 performances in his career
- Career stroke average of 76.06

Will Holmgren, North Dakota State – So.
- Led the Bison with a 74.07 stroke average in 15 round during the fall season
- Recorded a pair of Top 10 finishes in the fall at the UNO Invitational and John Dallio Memorial
- Named to the 2016 Summit League Academic Honor Roll

Kevin Gordon, Omaha – So.
- 2016 Summit League Championship MVP and All-Tournament Team member
- Became the first Maverick to qualify for the NCAA Division I Regionals
- Led UNO with a 73.53 average in the fall season with a pair of Top 10 finishes

Cody Burrows, Oral Roberts – So.
- Led the Golden Eagles last season with a 74.00 stroke average, which ranked fourth in the league
- Lone career win came at the Bob Sitton Invitational last spring
- Carded a career-low round of 67 at the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate in the fall

Cody Seal, South Dakota – Sr.
- Two-time Summit League Academic Honor Roll and Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence honoree
- Recorded the second-lowest average on the Coyote squad last season (75.87)
- Ranks fourth in The Summit League with a 73.40 stroke average entering spring action

Grant Smith, South Dakota State – Sr.
- 2016 Summit League Golfer of the Year and Academic All-League selection
- Posted a career-best 73.72 stroke average last season, a team low and a second lowest in the league
- Two-time all-league performer (2016 – First Team; 2015 – Second Team)

Drew Eaton, Western Illinois – Fr.
- Led the Fighting Leathernecks with a 75.40 stroke average in the fall season
- Carded a low round of 72 at the SIUE Derek Dolenc Intercollegiate
- Finished in a tie for 23rd place at the Bill Ross Intercollegiate


ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Celebrating its 35th season of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 120,000 at nine institutions, including four located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced eight NCAA Champions along with over 80 Academic All-Americans, 75 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague and watch the weekly "Inside The Summit League" show at www.thesummitleague.org/itsl.

#SummitMGF