Being ranked that high is where Coach Ernest Ross says he wants the program to be.
"We want to be a top 15 team year in and year out," said Ross, who has led Ole Miss to the NCAA Tournament the past two years. "It's nice to be there. You get some recognition for it. The players feel good about it. And it helps in recruiting."
The Rebels were ranked 11th in late September. They are now ranked No. 13 in the latest Golfweek Rankings as they defend their title at the Memphis Intercollegiate beginning today at Colonial Country Club, former home of the PGA Tour's Memphis stop until it moved to Southwind 20 years ago.
The Rebels are coming off a second place finish at the Shoal Creek Intercollegiate in Alabama in their last tournament. They beat then No. 2 LSU, No. 19 Texas Tech, No. 21 Wake Forest and No. 25 Auburn and just missed out on the title by two strokes. Three Rebels finished in the top four.
"We're glad to start off early in the year this way," Ross said of the ranking. "Players start to believe in themselves more, and that will help our performance the rest of the year."
Ole Miss has senior Jesse Speirs, freshman Joe David, junior Will Roebuck, sophomore Jonathan Randolph and senior Stefan Strandlund competing in Memphis. Freshman Sean Dale will compete as an individual. Speirs, who finished second at last year's Memphis Intercollegiate, currently leads the team with a 72.83 stroke average.
The Rebels have more overall depth and talent than they've had. It shows in the weekly competition for the five team spots in the lineup the Rebels take to each tourney.
"We're good through six or seven players and maybe more," Ross said. "Last year we were pretty good through four players, and we had a little drop off. Some of those same guys are still here and have gotten better. The competition, as in anything, makes everybody play a little tougher."
Live scoring for the event is available at www.OleMissSports.com by clicking on the link in the calendar.
Rebel golfers defending title in Memphis
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