Panthers Earn National Recognition Under Saltmarsh
By Bobby Walker // May 18, 2012
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – A record-breaking season has helped Florida Tech break into the latest Golf World/Nike Golf Division II Coaches’ Poll, coming in at No. 20.
This marks the first time the Panthers have earned national recognition under second-year head coach Chris Saltmarsh.
“This week’s national ranking means a lot to the future of the program and the future of our recruiting,” Saltmarsh said.
“Prospective students take note of the country’s top teams and typically they want to play for those teams. This also means a lot to the seniors who graduated. They worked hard all year to break into the Top 25 in both the coaches’ and GolfStat polls. The ranking means a great deal to our young squad returning. They now know what it takes to be nationally ranked, and I know they are not satisfied with being ranked 20th!”
Best Season In Program History
In 2011-12, Florida Tech put together its best season in the program’s nine-year history. It set new single-season records for average score per round (295.70), rounds of par or better (six), lowest score for 36 holes (572) and lowest score for 54 holes (863).
The Panthers also tied two school records, wins (two) and lowest round score (283).
Ray Badenhorst, Colin Flabbi, Brandon Lau, Patrick Sheedy and Christian Westhorpe led the Panthers to its second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division II South/Southeast Regional and fourth in school history. Last Friday, the Panthers placed sixth out of 20 teams at the regional in Conover, N.C.
Westhorpe closed out his two-year Panther career setting the school’s single-season record for average strokes per round, 73.50, and he tied its single-season mark with 11 rounds of par or better.
Badenhorst, a freshman from Banket, Zimbabwe, recorded a program-best seven-under-par 65 in the second round of the Panther Invitational. At the invite, he also broke FIT’s 36-hole and 54-hole marks, with an eight-under-par 136 and a five-under-par 211, respectively.
Earlier this month, Saltmarsh graduated six seniors, the most of any team at FIT. Concluding their collegiate careers were Colin Flabbi, Steve Kozlowski, Robert Schmidt, Patrick Sheedy, Andres Thielen and Christian Westhorpe.