A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Texas-Pan American, Fayetteville State and Bethune-Cookman Take Minority Collegiate Golf Titles
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – The University of Texas-Pan American captured the Division I standings of the 20th PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship at PGA Golf Club this past weekend in Port St. Lucie, Fla., with a Championship team total of 13-over-par 877.
Bethune-Cookman College made a move towards the top of the standings and finished in second place, 10-strokes behind the Broncs. Jackson State University, who started the round in second place, fell to third place with a Championship team total of 49-over-par 913.
Kyle Tudi, a sophomore at the University of Texas-Pan American, held off the late charge of Phillip Watkins of Tennessee State University, to be crowned the Division I individual standings medalist. Tudi led throughout the Championship and turned in a final round score of 2-under-par 70, for a Championship team total of 2-under-par 214.
Watkins, the only other player in Division I to complete the tournament under-par, finished in second place for the second consecutive year, one-stroke behind Tudi.
“The front nine was up and down with bogies of Nos. 3 and 5 and birdies on Nos. 4 and 8,” said Tudi. “On the back nine, I birdied Nos. 13 and 16. Then, I hit a good iron shot on No. 17 to about 20-feet and 2-putted for a par and finished my round with another par on No. 18 after missing a short putt. This is my first win of the season and I am very excited to end the season on a positive note.”
Fayetteville State University takes homes the Division II title with a three-day total of 78-over-par 942. Lincoln University., finished in second place with a team-total of 86-over-par 950, while North Carolina Central University improved from their fifth place finish last year to finish in third place overall.
Junior Ian Milne of Fayetteville State University came from behind and carded a final round 3-over-par 75 to win the Division II individual standings over by two strokes over teammate Derek Scott and Rodolfo Gamino of Lincoln University.
“I played great today and knew coming down the stretch that I had a very good chance so I felt good coming in,” said Milne, who won the CIAA Spring Championship in April.
“I am ecstatic because both the team and I came back this year and did what we planned to do – win first place after finishing in second last year.”
In the Women’s Division, Bethune-Cookman College prevailed as the Champions over the three-time defending champion Lady Broncs from the University of Texas-Pan American with a Championship team total of 97-over-par 961. This is their 5th win in the past nine years. Hampton University, the 1999 Champions, finished in third-place.
Maria Dunne of Bethune-Cookman College fired a final-round 7-over-par 79, which was good enough to hold onto her lead and win the Women’s Division individual standings over teammate Fern Grimshaw, who began the round one-stroke out of the lead and shot a 11-over-par 83 today.
“Grimshaw and I were neck to neck the entire round and I am delighted to win this tournament for the first time in my three visits at PGA Golf Club,” said Dunne, who won the 2005 Bethune-Cookman College Classic this past December.
“I hit a lot of greens, but did not capitalize on any of the putts, which was a bit frustrating. Overall, I am thrilled with my performance this past week and it is the perfect way to cap off my successful college career.”
In the NAIA Division, Johnson & Wales University., the only team participating in the newly formed division, was the only team in the entire Championship to turn-in a three-day total under-par with 14-under-par 850. Freshman Brad Valois of Warwick, R.I., who started on the back nine, fired the lowest round-score of the Championship, 8-under-par 64.
“I was on fire the last five holes today as I chipped in for birdie on No. 2, made a 12-foot putt for birdie on No. 3, made a 25-foot eagle putt on No. 4, and sank an 11-footer for birdie on No. 5,” said Valois, who starting playing golf at the age of 13. “This is the lowest round that I have recorded this year and I am very happy with the way I played the last two rounds in particular.”
Rick Stewart of New Mexico State University, recorded an 8-over-par 224 to win the Men’s Independent Division over Juan Ronderos of Bethune-Cookman College.
Freshman Deztany O’ve Jackson of Old Dominion University., carded a Championship total of 97-84-91-272 and captured the Women’s Independent Division over Ryen Williams of Alabama A&M University.
Approximately 125 contestants from 28 colleges and universities, representing 14 countries comprised the field for the 20th PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship. State Farm Insurance and The Golf Channel have combined to produce a one-hour Championship highlight program, which will air on July 6, 2006, at 6 p.m. EDT.