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Golf Ranked No. 1 In The Nation

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Following a season-opening victory at the Ryan Palmer Foundation Invitational, the Colorado School of Mines golf team ascended to a program-best, No. 1 national ranking in the Golfstat.com Head-to-Head computer rankings, the website announced late Wednesday.

The Orediggers become the third program in school history to boast a No. 1 national ranking, joining the 2010 men's soccer squad and the 2011-12 men's basketball team. 

The No.1 national ranking tops the preview program-record mark of No. 7, which the squad attained in the fall of the 2012-13 season.

Led by medalist honors by senior Michael Lee, as well as a school-record and RMAC record-tying 272 during the second round, the Orediggers captured the team title in record-breaking fashion at the Ryan Palmer Foundation Invitational on Tuesday at the Tacosa Country Club. 

The Orediggers posted a three-round team score of 831 which sets a new program record and breaks the RMAC record of 835 set by CSU-Pueblo in 2011 (-33). 

The title was the third time in as many seasons that head coach Tyler Kimble's squad has captured the team title in its first event of the season. The squad captured tournament titles in its season openers at the Grizzly Invitational in 2011 and the Colorado Mesa Open in 2012. 

Lee, the Preseason RMAC Golfer of the Year, captured medalist honors with a birdie chip-in on the first playoff hole. Lee was a major cog in Mines' record-tying second round as he tied the school record with a 65 during that round. He finished his tournament with a four-under 68 on the final round (73-65-68-206 {-10}) earn his spot in the playoff. 

He was fifth among the Mines golfers and in a tie for 33rd overall after the completion of the first round. His 65 during the second round ties the school-record for lowest round, which is shared by Lee (Golfweek Division II Preview) and Jordan Arndt (Wolf Pack Invite) who both set their marks during the 2012-13 season. 

The individual title was the second of Lee's career. He also captured medalist honors at the Golfweek Division II Preview last season on Oct. 2 at the Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Ore. 

Arndt, also a Preseason All-RMAC selection, finished tied for second overall after losing to Lee during the playoff. Arndt kept racing up the individual leaderboard as well after firing matching 68's over the final two rounds (70-68-68-206 {-10}). 

Junior John Ahern also finished in the top-10 overall after carding a 210 (69-68-73-210 {-6}) during the meet, while Kyle Grassel finished in a tie for 15th overall after closing his action with rounds of 73 and 69 on Tuesday (70-73-69-212 {-4}). Sophomore Nick Berry closed out the Oredigger scorecards with a 221 over the three rounds (72-71-78-221 {+5}). 

Mines will take its shiny new ranking out for a test spin on Monday and Tuesday when the squad travels to the Hillcrest Country Club in Durango for the Fort Lewis Invitational.

FULL GOLFSTAT HEAD-TO-HEAD COMPUTER RANKINGS (.PDF)

FULL GOLFSTAT HEAD-TO-HEAD COMPUTER RANKINGS (WEBSITE)

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