Coming off a three-shot victory at the Cleveland Golf/Palmetto Invitational, Virginia sophomore golfer Ben Kohles (Cary, N.C.) has moved into the top 10 of the individual rankings of both major college golf polls. Kohles is ranked No. 5 in the latest Golfstat standings and is ninth in the Golfweek poll.
In addition to his win at the Palmetto, Kohles opened the season by finishing first at the Maryland Intercollegiate. He has finished in the top-10 in five of six tournaments this year and leads the Cavaliers with a 70.39 stroke average. His 63 during the second round of the Palmetto tied the UVa single-round scoring record. He is the first Cavalier golfer to win two tournaments in the same season since current PGA Tour member Steve Marino did it in 2001-02.
This week Kohles and the No. 20 Cavaliers return to the links at the 31st annual Schenkel E-Z-GO Invitational in Statesboro, Ga., at the Forest Heights Country Club. The 54-hole event runs Friday, March 19 through Sunday, March 21. Six previous champions will return as part of a 15-team field competing for the coveted title over three days. Teams tee off at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 8 a.m. on Sunday for the final round.
Comprising the 2010 field will be Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, North Carolina, North Carolina State, North Florida, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia and host Georgia Southern. A total of nine of those teams are ranked in the current Golfstat top-25 poll.
Six of the 15 teams have previously taken the Schenkel title including 2009 defending champion South Carolina. Defending 2009 individual medalist Matt Hill of NC State will make a return trip to Statesboro after claiming the 2009 NCAA individual national championship to cap his sophomore campaign.
The rest of the Virginia roster includes Kyle Stough, Will Collins, Steven Rojas and Amory Davis. The Cavaliers, featuring that same lineup, were fifth at the Palmetto in their first event of the spring season. Virginia has placed in the top five at all six of its tournaments this season.