ORU Men’s Golf picked first

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. –Oral Roberts was picked to win the 2024 #SummitMGF Championship in April as Summit League officials released their Men’s Golf Preseason Poll and Golfers to Watch list Wednesday.

The Golden Eagles were one of three teams to receive first-place tallies as they edged North Dakota State after collecting 59 total points to earn the top spot in the poll voted on by the League’s nine head coaches.

“It is always great to be picked #1 in the conference polls,” Head Golf Coach Lance Watson said. “However, the players realize we have to prove that distinction at the conference tournament. We have a great schedule in the spring and I am looking forward to watching this team come together and win a championship.”

The men’s golf team had two top five finishes during the fall slate and are led by Presten Richardson who was named Golfer to Watch.

ORU secured six first-place votes in total, while the Bison collected two and finished second with 55 points. The Golden Eagles will be looking to claim their eighth overall championship and first since 2010, while the Bison are seeking their second team title and first since 2018.

Reigning Tournament Champion Kansas City was tabbed third, earning the remaining first-place vote as the Roos finished with 53 points. The Roos won the team title a season ago, which was their third overall and first since rejoining the conference prior to the 2019-20 campaign, after rallying from a seven-stroke deficit entering the final round.

South Dakota State took fourth with 41 points, while Denver was fifth with 32 points. The Pioneers, who finished runner-up at the 2023 Championship, are under the direction of first-year head coach Gary Bissell.

St. Thomas was pegged to finish sixth with 28 points and South Dakota followed the Tommies in seventh with 26 points. Omaha, who is under the guidance of first-year head coach Joey Baldwin, claimed eighth in the poll with 19 points and North Dakota rounded out the poll with 11 points.

2024 Men’s Golf Preseason Poll

 Program Points
 1. Oral Roberts 59 (6)
 2. North Dakota State 55 (1)
 3. Kansas City 53 (2)
 4. South Dakota State 41
 5. Denver 32
 6. St. Thomas 28
 7. South Dakota 26
 8. Omaha 19
 9. North Dakota 11

First-place vote in parentheses

#SummitMGF Preseason Notes

  • Kansas City won the 2023 Summit League Championship by four strokes, rallying from a seven-stroke deficit to start the final round and claim the program’s third overall title and first since rejoining the League prior to the 2019-20 season.
  • Championship MVP Joshuaa Robards shot a 54-hole total of 215 (-1) to pace the Roos. The junior earned All-Tournament Team honors and was an honorable mention All-League recipient in 2023.
  • Robards is back along with Mesa Falleur, who topped the Roos with a 71.8 stroke average in four fall events.
  • North Dakota State head coach Steve Kennedy has three of his five all-league performers back from 2023 led by senior Nate Adams – a first-team honoree, who had three top-10 finishes during the fall. Senior Gavin Cronkhite and junior Ian Simonich were both second-team honorees a season ago.
  • ORU, who took third at the 2023 Championship, has all-league first teamer Rocco Repetto-Taylor back for his senior season. Newcomer Presten Richardson, who transferred in from Western Carolina, led the Golden Eagles in the fall with a 71.9 stroke average.
  • Denver freshman Jet Hernandez and South Dakota State sophomore Luke Honner turned in the top scoring averages of the fall at 71.25 and 71.33, respectively.
  • Denver, led by Gary Bissell, and Omaha, led by Joey Baldwin, are both under the direction of first-year head coaches.

Preseason Watch List (Alphabetically)
Nate Adams // North Dakota State // Sr. // Maple Grove, Minn.

  • Turned in thee top-10 finishes during five fall events with best finish of a tie for fifth coming at the Iowa ANF Fall Classic
  • Won three collegiate events during the 2022-23 season en route to All-League First Team honors
  • Led Bison with a tie for ninth at 2023 Summit League Championship
  • Has recorded 46 rounds of par or better in 108 career chances and owns nine top-five finishes

Matthew Armstrong // St. Thomas // Sr. // Eden Prairie, Minn.

  • Registered a pair of top-10 finishes in four fall events, yielding five rounds of par or better
  • Led the Tommies with a 73.1 stroke average in the fall and a 73.9 stroke average a season ago when he turned in a team-best three top-10 finishes
  • Tied for 20th at the 2023 Summit League Championship

Mesa Falleur // Kansas City // So. // Muskogee, Okla.

  • Ranked fifth among Summit League golfers with a 71.8 stroke average in four fall events
  • Tied for ninth at the Bubba Barnett Intercollegiate to post the best finish of his career
  • Closed the 2023 Summit League Championship with a team-best score of 70 (-2) to help the Roos to the team title
  • Shot a season-best 66 (-6) in the third round of the NCAA Vegas Regional, the best to-par score by a Roo all year

Jet Hernandez // Denver // Fr. // Muntinlupa, Philippines

  • Led all Summit League golfers with a 71.25 stroke average in four fall events
  • Tied for third in first collegiate event, shooting a 54-hole total of 207 (-9) at the USF-Howard Intercollegiate
  • Posted eight rounds of par of better in 12 opportunities, including a season-best 68 on three separate occasions

Luke Honner // South Dakota State // So. // Sioux Falls, S.D.

  • Ranked second among Summit League golfers with a 71.33 stroke average
  • Established career-bests with a second-place finish at the Throw Down Up Top where he carded a 210 (-9) total with a trio of rounds all under par
  • Shot a career-low 66 (-6) at the Duel at the Bluffs as a freshman en route to a third-place finish
  • Led the Jackrabbits at the 2023 Summit League Championship with a 14th-place finish

Joseph Kortan // North Dakota // Fr. // Moorehead, Minn.

  • Posted a 74.1 stroke average in three events during his first collegiate fall
  • Led the Fighting Hawks in the final two events of the fall, posting a season-best tie for 14th at the Throw Down Up Top
  • Played varsity golf for six seasons at Moorhead High School

Presten Richardson // Oral Roberts // Sr. // Miller, Mo.

  • Led Golden Eagles and ranked sixth among Summit League golfers with a 71.9 stroke average during the fall, which included five round at par or better
  • Had a pair of top-15 finishes, including a tie for 13th at the Everett Buick GMC Classic where shot a 54-hole total of 213 (-3) and finished with back-to-back rounds of 70 (-2)
  • Transferred from Western Carolina where his best finish was a runner-up showing at the 2021 Advance Golf Partners Collegiate

Max Schmidtke // South Dakota // Gr. // Sheboygan, Wis.

  • Appeared in all five fall events, posting a 73.4 stroke average with a team-best five rounds at par or better
  • Posted the low round of the fall by a Summit League golfer and tied USD single-round record with a 64 (-7) to open the 2023 Zach Johnson Intercollegiate
  • Finished tied for fifth at the ZJI with a career-best, 54-hole total of 210 (-3)
  • One of two Coyotes to play in all 12 events in 2022-23 and led team with a 74.2 stroke average

Connor Wilson // Omaha // Gr. // Edmond, Okla.

  • Led the Mavericks with a 73.8 stroke average in five fall events, which included a tie for third at the Big O Classic and six rounds at par or better
  • Closed out the fall with a season-best 67 (-5) at the ODU/OBX Intercollegiate
  • Earned honorable mention All-Summit League honors in 2023 – his first with the Mavericks after transferring from Arkansas State
  • Won the Stampede at the Creek in the spring of 2023 with a 54-hole total of 208 (-8), which included a career-best 64 (-8) in round two

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