The Wildcats received a total of 225 votes in the preseason edition of the MasterCard Collegiate Golf Rankings. Clemson topped the poll with 291 votes, just ahead of No. 2 Georgia (267). Georgia Tech (245), Arizona State (244) and Houston (241) round out the top five.
"Preseason rankings are always based on what you have returning," said head coach Rick LaRose. "We've got our top three guys coming back, so I thought we would be in the top five or six."
Last season, Arizona won two tournaments, including the NCAA West Regional, and placed second four times. After the third-place finish at the NCAA Championships, the Wildcats ended 2000 ranked sixth in the country and were the highest ranked Pac-10 Conference team in the final poll.
Individually, sophomore Ricky Barnes is rated as the No. 6 player in the nation. The 2000 Pac-10 and National Freshman of the Year, Barnes finished third at both the NCAA and Pac-10 Championships and ended the season with a 71.04 stroke average. He collected six top-10 finishes in 14 events last season and earned second-team All-America honors.
"We feel like we're in pretty good shape," LaRose said. "Barnes should be that much better this season. It's always nice to be up near the top of the rankings. It's good for the kid's confidence."
The MasterCard Collegiate Golf Rankings, administered by the College Golf Foundation, are the official rankings of the Rolex Collegiate Tour. The voting is done by a panel of men's collegiate golf coaches. The first regular season poll will be released on Oct. 4.
Arizona opens the 2000-01 campaign Fri.-Sat., Sept. 15-16, at the William H. Tucker Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M.
Preseason MasterCard Collegiate Golf Rankings
Rnk Team Votes Rnk Individual Votes 1. Clemson 291 1. Luke Donald, Northwestern 300 2. Georgia 267 2. Lucas Glover, Clemson 273 3. Georgia Tech 245 3. Bryce Molder, Georgia Tech 264 4. Arizona State 244 4. Paul Casey, Arizona State 240 5. Houston 241 5. John Engler, Clemson 232 6. Arizona 225 6. Ricky Barnes, Arizona 231 7. UNLV 221 7. Andy Sanders, Houston 214 8. Oklahoma St 197 8. D.J. Trahan, Clemson 202 9. Texas 196 9. Nick Cassini, Georgia 192 10. Northwestern 181 10. Erik Compton, Georgia 152