A look at the 13 teams participating in this year’s Golfweek Division II Fall Invitational, which begins Monday at Crosswater in Sunvriver, Ore.
California State Stanislaus
Final 2011-12 Golfstat ranking: 3
Coach: John Cook
The scoop: After a fourth-place finish in the stroke-play portion of the national championship in the spring, Stanislaus lost to Chico State in the second round of match play. The Warriors return only two players from that roster (Rob Damschen and Paul Smith), so it could be something of a rebuilding year. Led by Smith, the Trojans finished 10th at the Brickyard Invitational to start the year. Ranked No. 7 in Golfweek’s preseason rankings.
Final 2011-12 Golfstat ranking: 4
Coach: T.L. Brown
The scoop: Won the stroke-play portion of last spring’s national championship, and finished runner-up to Nova Southeastern in match play. Only junior Chris Doyle returns from that team, but freshmen Alistair Docherty and Anthony Maccioli led the team in scoring in the Wildcats’ season-opening event. Ranked No. 6 in Golfweek’s preseason rankings.
Final 2011-12 Golfstat ranking: 12
Coach: Steve Card
The scoop: Scored the best finish (third) of the six teams in this field that competed in the Brickyard Intercollegiate, which served as a season opener for many Division II programs. It was a windy and rainy final round in Indianapolis, but the Vikings outscored every team but winner Barry. They also won their home invitational the following week. Ranked No. 9 in Golfweek’s preseason rankings.
Final 2011-12 Golfstat ranking: 30
Coach: Earl Tamiya
The scoop: A long way from home, but the Vulcans are coming off a third-place finish at the Western Washington Invitational, so their games should be adjusted to Northwest golf. Corey Kozuma can go low – he opened with rounds of 70-68 to take a two-shot lead at Western Washington before finishing with a 74 to fall to solo sixth. Backup comes from Chris Shimomura and Jamie Hall.
Final 2011-12 Golfstat ranking: 27
Coach: Don Powers
The scoop: This is a team on the rise. The Antelopes qualified for the NCAA Championship last spring for the first time since 2009. Keep an eye on Mark Geddes for the individual title. He shot consistent rounds of 70-71-69 at the Western Washington Invitational to finish T-2, and returns as the second-lowest scorer from last season.
Final 2011-12 Golfstat ranking: 28
Coach: Val Verhunce
The scoop: The Seawolves are coming off a slow season in which no golfer participated in the national championship for the first time since 2006. After advancing to the West/Central Super Regional as an individual, Steven Warne got off to a bit of a slow start for his senior season (T-31 at Western Washington). Sonoma State should look at this as a redemption season.
Final 2011-12 Golfstat ranking: 26
Coach: Phil Trujillo
The scoop: An impressive showing at the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational earlier this fall – the Mountain Lions finished T-10 after climbing as high as solo fifth at the Division I-dominant event – speaks volumes for this team. Grant Dean is a gem on this roster after a top-20 finish at that event. The Golfweek Invitational will be Colorado Springs’ first start outside Colorado.
Colorado School of Mines
Final 2011-12 Golfstat ranking: 17
Coach: Tyler Kimble
The scoop: Competed in the NCAA Championship as a team for the first time last spring. Recent graduate Jim Knous narrowly missed claiming the individual title after losing to Central Oklahoma’s Josh Creel on the first hole of a playoff. This season will about finding a rhythm without Knous, but the Diggers are doing fine so far. They won the CMU Invitational to start the season and finished third at their own Oredigger Invitational the following week.
Final 2011-12 Golfstat ranking: 21
Coach: Brent Nicoson
The scoop: Won the Green Bay Invitational to start the season, but stumbled in its own Brickyard Invitational. The Greyhounds finished a disappointing 13th in a loaded field that week, but the Golfweek Invitational would be a perfect place to rebound. The event features five of the teams that beat Indianapolis at home.
Final 2011-12 Golfstat ranking: 65
Coach: Kevin Bishop
The scoop: Coming off a sixth-place finish at the Western Washington Invite. Senior Jack Whealdon seems to be peaking after a T-7 finish at that event, which is only the second top 10 of his career. Connor Miele and Brandon Moore can provide strong backup.
Final 2011-12 Golfstat ranking: 61
Coach: Troy Halterman
The scoop: Earned a top-10 finish (seventh) in a tough Brickyard Intercollegiate field to start the season. The Tritons followed with another seventh-place finish at the GLIAC Fall event. One of only three teams not from the West, so the key for Missouri-St. Louis will be adjusting to Crosswater.
Final 2011-12 Golfstat ranking: 64
Coach: Kenny Trapp
The scoop: A pair of fourth-place finishes in Texas and Oklahoma to start the season. Another team that will need to adjust to a Northwest venue. Playing as an individual, John Olin was T-4 at last week’s The Territory Classic, the highest of any Patriot. Olin joins the team lineup in Oregon.
Final 2011-12 Golfstat ranking: 82
Coach: Paul Brown
The scoop: Comes to Oregon off a runner-up finish at the Oredigger Invite. The star on this roster is senior Brandon Bingaman, who is No. 19 in Golfstat’s head-to-head player rankings. He posted a final-round 66 at the Oredigger.