Tennessee State, Lincoln (Mo.) Take National Minority College Golf Titles

By Heidi Wegmueller
Updated: May 9, 2005

Tenn. State Golf Team

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Tennessee State University dominated with a record Championship team total of 24-under-par 840 on Sunday at the 19th National Minority College Golf Championship to win the Division I standings at PGA Golf Club.

“I am definitely proud of our team as they have played outstanding throughout the week,” said Dr. Catana Starks, the Tennessee State Head Coach who is retiring after 18 years.

“The competition has drastically increased this year and the Championship is spectacular as it recognizes the golf program’s at black and minority colleges across the country.” 19th National Minority College Golf Championship Coverage

Johnson & Wales University, the defending champions, finished in second place with a team total of 5-under-par 859, while Bethune-Cookman, finished in third place with an 866.

Senior Robert Dinwiddie of Barnard Castle, England, won the Division I medalist honors by carding a 2-under-par 70 for a three-day total of 13-under-par 203.

Teammate Phillip Watkins of Melbourne, Australia, and James Renner of Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, Fla., finished in a second-place tie, five strokes behind Dinwiddie.

“I am extremely pleased with the way I played today as I holed some decent putts to keep myself going throughout the day and I remained relaxed,” said Dinwiddie, a 2005 Academic All-American.

“This is a great feeling and I could not have asked for a better way to end my college career than to win this National Championship along with my team taking home the first place trophy.”

Lincoln (Mo.) University held onto its lead to capture the Division II standings with a team-total of 928. Fayetteville State University finished a mere two strokes behind in second place and Benedict College finished in third place with a 952.

After starting the final round in third place, junior John Azzarelli of Fayetteville State University won the Division II medalist honors by posting a final-round score of 2-under-par 70 for a Championship total of 4-over-par 220. Adam Hoffman of Lincoln University finished second, one stroke behind Azzarelli.

“I had a flawless round today as I was able to hit the ball perfectly, allowing me to make some decent length putts,” said Azzarelli, who also captured the 2005 Winston Salem University Shootout in North Carolina.

“It was tight coming into the clubhouse, but I was able to make two good putts on the last hole to take home the Championship. I am extremely pleased with my overall performance throughout the past three days.”

The University of Texas-Pan American of Edinburg, took home the Women’s Division title for the third consecutive year after firing a three-day Championship-record team total of 912, which breaks the previous record of 932 set in 2000 by Bethune-Cookman.

Stefanie Maynard, two-time defending NMCGC Champion, led the Lady Broncs and was awarded the individual medalist with an impressive 56-hole score of 1-over-par 217.

“I hit the greens today and set myself up in good positions to capitalize on making putts,” said Maynard, a junior from Pflugerville, Texas. “I played consistently throughout the Championship and I was able to hold myself together each round. Winning this Championship is an awesome feeling and I am thrilled to have been able to card my lowest round in college of 71 today.”

Sophomore Sharah Davis of Hampton recaptured the Women’s Independent Division with a three-day total of 237, while sophomore Doug Smith II of the University of Louisville won the Men’s Independent Division with a three-day-total of 6-over-par 222.

Approximately 100 contestants from 21 colleges and universities, representing 11 countries, comprised the field for the 19th National Minority College Golf Championship. The National Minority College Golf Championship is co-sponsored by The PGA of America and the National Minority College Golf Scholarship Fund of Cleveland, Ohio.