RAMS TABBED THIRD IN A-10 POLL, AIM FOR TITLE NO. 4

RICHMOND, Va. – Three-time and defending champion VCU was selected third in the 2017 Atlantic 10 Conference preseason poll, which is tabulated from a survey of league head coaches.

The Rams garnered two first-place votes and 100 points. Dayton was tabbed A-10 preseason favorite with 112 points. The Flyers received five first-place votes. Richmond (109) was picked second. The Spiders also earned two first-place votes. Behind VCU, Rhode Island and George Mason rounded out the top five.

Led by longtime Head Coach Matt Ball, VCU has captured the last three A-10 Championships, including the 2016 title by a seven-stroke margin over Richmond.

In order to score a successful four-peat, the Rams will have to mitigate the loss of two-time A-10 individual champion Adam Ball, and three-time All-Atlantic 10 selection Steffen Harm.

VCU will retool behind a lineup that includes 2015 All-Atlantic 10 pick Jamie Clare, a senior, as well as classmate Hanish Nagrani and Ejej Sarkanj. Juniors Errol Clarke and Osama Khan, as well as talented newcomers Alston Newsom and Alister Balcombe. Coach Ball should have a variety of lineup combinations at his disposal.

Clare enjoyed his most productive fall season as a Ram earlier this year. In addition to a career-best stroke average of 71.54 in five tournaments, he recorded three top-20 finishes, including a 10th-place effort at the Bridgestone Golf Collegiate Oct. 30-31.
 
Balcombe has also impressed in his freshman season. He booked an eighth-place finish at the Tar Heel Collegiate Oct. 8-9, and his nine rounds of par or better during the fall campaign lead the team.
 
VCU kicks off its spring season Feb. 20-21 at the A-10 Match Play Championship at Weston Hills Country Club in Weston, Florida. The Rams captured the inaugural A-10 Match Play title last spring. 

2017 Atlantic 10 Golf Poll
Parenthesis denotes number of first-place votes

Dayton (5)

112

Richmond (2)

109

VCU (2)

100

Rhody (2)

94

Mason

78

GW

60

Davidson

55

St. Bona

36

St. Joe's

29

La Salle

28

Fordham

25