The final rankings for the 2014 fall Golfstat rankings have been released and Winthrop’s men are 31st while sophomore Zach Seabolt stands at No. 8 in the individual rankings.
Seabolt is also on the 2015 Palmer Cup watch list as he is rated No. 9 in the point standings heading into the spring season. The Palmer Cup, now in its 19th year, is the annual Ryder Cup-style competition that features the top collegiate players from the United States against their counterparts from Europe. It will be played June 12 to 14 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
Regarding the team ranking following the fall, Winthrop head coach Kevin Pendley said, “I am pleased with where we are at the end of the fall. It is a reward for our guys and how hard they worked, but having said that, it is not where we want to end up.”
He says the ranking is just a barometer and gives his team a measuring stick to see it still has room for improvement.
“I still think our best golf is ahead of us. Our spring schedule will be a very good challenge and will be worthy of our team in terms of the competition we will play and the courses we are going to see.”
While a No. 31 ranking puts the Eagles in good shape for a possible at-large berth in the 2015 NCAA tournament, Pendley said his team won’t be satisfied to just make it to regionals.
“Our goal is to make it to the national championships, so we want to be in Tampa in late May,” he said, adding the Eagles also want to capture the Big South Conference Championship in April that would give them their first automatic bid into the regional tournament.
To achieve that, Pendley says, “We need to play certain golf courses that challenge our guys with different conditions and play the best competition we can. That’s what the spring and our fall schedule will do for us.”
In regard to Seabolt’s chances of making the Palmer Cup team, Pendley says there is still a long way to go in the selection process, “It would be a fantastic accomplishment for Zach if he’s is able to achieve it. In the back of his mind, I believe he would say it is one of his goals for the year. By representing your country, I don’t know if it gets any better than that.”
Pendley says the spring schedule will help Seabolt from the standpoint of achieving that goal. “He’s good enough to play with the best in the world, so the schedule in the spring will challenge him and keep him motivated. Obviously it would be great recognition for our program as well.”
If Seabolt is selected for the 10-man USA team, he would play on the course (Rich Harvest Farm) near Chicago where Winthrop opened the fall season and Seabolt won the medalist title. “That would be a neat experience for Zach to start your year there and end your year there,” his coach said.