Sept. 15, 2006
BEAUMONT - Lamar University, who tied for ninth place at the NCAA Championships last season, is ranked 20th in the country in Golfweek's preseason poll compiled by senior writer Ron Balicki.
Lamar, who finished last season ranked 18th in the final Golfweek Sagarin Performance Index, returns its top five golfers and eight letterwinners from last year's squad that won an NCAA-best seven tournaments.
Defending NCAA Champion Oklahoma State is the top-ranked team followed by Georgia, UCLA, Clemson, UNLV, BYU, Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and Texas A&M to round out the Top 10.
Additionally, Balicki ranked the Top 10 golfers heading into the 2006-07 season, which comprised Golfweek's preseason first-team. Junior Dawie Van Der Walt, who placed fourth at the NCAA Championships to lead the Cardinals, is ranked as the ninth-best player in the country. He posted eight Top 10 finishes last season, including winning medalist honors at the Del Walker Intercollegiate.
A native of Cape Town, South Africa, Van Der Walt continued his good play over the summer with Top 20 finishes at the Sunnehanna Amateur, Monroe Invitational, The Players Amateur and Porter Cup. He was also a semifinalist at the Western Amateur. He finished the summer at No. 3 in Golfweek/Titleist Amateur rankings and was named to South Africa's Eisenhower Trophy team.
Van Der Walt was joined on the first-team by Pablo Martin and Jonathan Moore of Oklahoma State, Chris Kirk (Georgia), Rhys Davies (East Tennessee State), Webb Simpson (Wake Forest), Dustin Johnson (Coastal Carolina), Oscar Floren (Texas Tech), Billy Horschel (Florida) and Cameron Tringale (Georgia Tech).
The Cardinals are opening the 2006-07 season today and Sunday at the Gopher Invitational hosted by Minnesota at Spring Hill Golf Club.