BATON ROUGE – Golfweek’s daily countdown of the Top 30 men’s and women’s teams in college golf for the 2013-14 season continued Monday morning as the publication announced that the Tigers will start the new season in two weeks as the nation’s No. 9-ranked men’s team while returning a strong squad from a year ago.
The Tigers, who ended the 2012-13 season as the No. 18-ranked team nationally by Golfweek, are already the eighth Southeastern Conference team named in the Top 25 preseason rankings.
Preceding LSU in the daily countdown of the Golfweek Preseason Top 30 are No. 10 Arkansas, No. 11 Georgia, No. 12 Auburn, No. 18 South Carolina, No. 23 Texas A&M, No. 26 Florida and No. 27 Mississippi State.
The Tigers return a very experienced squad from a year ago with their entire starting lineup from the SEC Championships, NCAA Baton Rouge Regional and NCAA Championships back with the squad in 2013-14. LSU has also returned each of its top seven scorers from last year’s squad that finished the year with a third-place finish at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional and 23rd-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
Leading the way will be 2013 First-Team All-SEC selection Curtis Thompson for his junior season and two-time Second-Team All-SEC performer Andrew Presley for his senior season in 2013-14. Thompson averaged 72.9 strokes per round while appearing in all 13 tournaments as the team’s leading scorer a year ago. Presley was also impressive with a 73.3 stroke average in his 13 appearances last season.
The Tigers will also count on the likes of seniors Smylie Kaufman and Landon Lyons, juniors Stewart Jolly and Myles Lewis and sophomore Zach Wright to lead the team back to the NCAA Championships next spring.
The Tigers are also blessed with a stellar recruiting class that will soon make its debut in the purple and gold with junior transfer Ben Taylor and incoming freshmen Brandon Pierce and Eric Ricard joining the program.
“Head Coach Chuck Winstead returns his top seven players from last season’s squad that earned a pair of victories and advanced to the NCAA Championship,” states Golfweek’s preview of this year’s LSU Tigers. “They were led last year by junior Curtis Thompson, who finished the season at No. 49 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. He has a lot of help, however. Senior Andrew Presley (78th) and junior Stewart Jolly (97th) also finished the season in the Top 100, and behind them sophomore Zach Wright, junior Myles Lewis and senior Smylie Kaufman will compete for lineup positions.
“With such depth and experience, Winstead will be seeking more consistency from the Tigers. The Tigers’ top five combined for 62 starts last year. If LSU can get improved play from the No. 4 and No. 5 slots, this team should contend for titles almost every time out.”