With ‘spring’ portion of college golf season set to start, 4 Colorado-based Div. II men’s teams ranked in nation’s top 25
By Gary Baines – 1/26/2024
Calendar-wise, we’re not even halfway through winter. Nevertheless, the spring portion of the college golf schedule is already upon us.
The first Colorado-based college program with a “spring” tournament on its schedule, the University of Colorado men, will tee it up Monday through Wednesday (Jan. 29-31) at the Southwestern Intercollegiate in Westlake Village, Calif.
Also next week, the Colorado State women will let it fly at the Collegiate Invitational in Guadalajara, Mexico — specifically Feb. 2-3. And by mid-February, three other NCAA Division I teams from the Centennial State will begin their spring schedules.
But, based on mid-season rankings, NCAA Division II programs in the state should also garner their fair share of attention in the spring. Defying the odds, four Colorado-based DII men’s programs are currently ranked in the top 25 in the nation:
According to Scoreboard Powered by Clippd, Colorado State University-Pueblo checks in at No. 4 in the country in the DII men’s ranks (out of 203 total programs in the country), while Colorado Christian is ninth, Colorado School of Mines 19th and Colorado Mesa University 25th. (For the complete rankings, CLICK HERE.) In the DII Coaches Poll, CSU Pueblo is ninth, CCU 12th and Mines 20th.
CSU Pueblo recorded one team victory in the fall to go along with two third places and a fourth. The ThunderWolves begin their spring season Feb. 12-13 in San Diego. CCU also recorded a win, in its case to accompany four runner-up finishes. Mines owns a couple of second-place showings. Mesa finished up the fall with a victory in the Centennial Cup.
Individually, six players from Colorado DII programs are in the country’s top 50, according to Clippd: CSU Pueblo’s Colt Tenpenny (9th), Mines’ Lukas Taggart (23rd), CCU’s Xavier Bighaus (27th), CCU’s Adam Duncan (32nd), CSU Pueblo’s Jamie Roberts (33rd) and Mines’ Max Lange (46th). Tenpenny, Taggart, Bighaus and Lange each posted an individual victory in the fall. Lange, by the way, is from Golden.
As for the Division I programs in the state, the CSU men and women scored one team victory each in the fall.
Here are the season openers and the national rankings for Colorado-based DI teams going into the spring:
National Ranking by Clippd: 71st
Spring Opener: Feb. 19-21 at The Prestige in La Quinta, Calif.
National Ranking by Clippd: 102nd
Spring Opener: Jan. 29-31 at Southwestern Intercollegiate in Westlake Village, Calif.
National Ranking by Clippd: 187th
Spring Opener: Feb. 5-7 at Los Vaqueros Intercollegiate in Playa Paraiso, Mexico
National Ranking by Clippd: 217th.
Spring Opener: Feb. 25-27 at Dorado Beach Collegiate in Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico
Air Force Men
National Ranking by Clippd: 259th
Spring Opener: Feb. 25-27 at Loyola Intercollegiate in Goodyear, Ariz.
National Ranking by Clippd: 45th
Spring Opener: Feb. 2-3 at Collegiate Invitational in Guadalajara, Mexico
National Ranking by Clippd: 53rd
Spring Opener: Feb. 5-6 at FAU Paradise Invitational in Boca Raton, Fla.
National Ranking by Clippd: 66th
Spring Opener: Feb. 12-13 at San Diego State Classic in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
National Ranking by Clippd: 186th.
Spring Opener: Feb. 27-28 at Grand Canyon Invitational in Phoenix
About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for ColoradoGolf.org since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates ColoradoGolfJournal.com