Texas Pan-American Wins Second Straight PGA Division I Minority Golf Title

By Off The BASN Sports Wire
Updated: May 14, 2007

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The University of Texas Pan American from Edinburg, Texas, made a furious back-nine comeback to capture the Division I Men’s Team Championship for the second consecutive year at the 2007 PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship.

The Broncs began the day 6-shots back of second-round leader Florida A&M University from Tallahassee, but were able to retain the Championship by firing a 1-over-par 289 for a Championship-total 6-over-par 870.

Bethune-Cookman College from Daytona Beach, Fla. shot a 2-under 286 Saturday to take second place with a 3-day-total of 871. Florida A&M University slipped to third place with a Championship-total of 872.

Senior Jason Still from Lawnside, N.J., carded a tournament-low 6-under-par 66 to capture the Men’s Division I Individual Medalist honors. Daniel Venema from Ormond Beach, Fla., began the day 1-stroke off the pace, and fired his third consecutive sub-par round with a 71, to secure second place in the Championship.

“I didn’t putt well during my first two rounds, but today that came around and I was able to shoot a really low score,” said Still, a Business Administration major. “This is the best championship that we compete in each year and I am proud to be a part of it.”

In Division II, Fayetteville State University in N.C., shot a final round 4-under-par 284 to secure their second consecutive Championship, tallying a three-round total of 12-under-par 852.

They broke the 54-hole record previously held by Johnson & Wales University in 2003, when the Wildcats shot 853. Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo. secured second place after finishing with a three-day-total of a 25-over-par 889. Morehouse College of Atlanta, Ga., finished third with a 904.

Derek Scott, a junior from Hope Mills, N.C., shot a final-round 2-under-par 70 to win the Division II Individual Medalist honors by one stroke over teammate Joel Lynn, a freshman from Fayetteville, who carded a final round 1-over-par 71 and by 4-strokes over Ian Milne, a senior from Fayetteville, who fired a final round 3-under-par 69.

“Our team really came together this week,” said Scott, who finished in a tie for second place in the 2006 Championship. “We could not be more pleased with the result and this is an experience we hope to build on in the future.”

In the NAIA Division, Johnson & Wales University of North Miami, Fla., won for the second consecutive year, defeating Edward Waters College of Jacksonville, Fla., by 31-strokes.

The Wildcats were led by senior Shawn Scott of Melrose, Mass., who recorded a 3-day-total of 4-under-par 212 to claim the Individual Championship over Brendon Ehlers of Evanston, Wyo., and teammate David Tobon of Medellin, Columbia.

In the Women’s Division, Bethune-Cookman College of Daytona Beach, Fla., successfully defended their title with a Championship-total of 913. The University of Texas Pan-American finished in second with a 950 and South Carolina State University of Orangeburg, S.C., finished in third place with a 1052.

“I am so happy for these women as they really played well all weekend,” said Coach Dr. Gary Freeman, who is in his ninth year coaching both the men’s and women’s golf team. “We love coming down here because it is close to home and The PGA of America runs the tournament so smoothly. We can not wait to compete next year.”

In the Independent Men’s Division, Vincent Johnson, a junior from Oregon State University in Corvallis, fired a blistering 4-under-par 68 in the final round to finish 12-strokes clear of second-place finishers Willie Mack III, a freshman Physical Education major from Bethune-Cookman College, Anthony Romero, a Professional Golf Management major from Socorro, N.M., and Steven Frazier, a junior from Houston, Texas.

“The wind fell off today so I was able to be more aggressive around the course,” said Johnson, who participated in his first PGA Minority Championship. “This was a great experience for me and I look forward to making it back next year to defend my title.”

In the Independent Women’s Division, Georgette Rolle, a senior from Nassau, Bahamas defeated Sara Young, a junior from Jacksonville, Fla., after birding the first playoff hole to claim the 2007 title.

Young made up 3-shots during the final round to tie after 54-holes and forced a playoff, but Rolle’s putter finally caught fire as she sank a 12-foot birdie on the 500-yard par-5 hole No. 1 of the Wanamaker Course at The PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

“The last few holes were pretty rough, but I was able to make the most important putt of the tournament,” said Rolle, who fired a 9-over-par 81. “I love this tournament and am glad to have made the trip back to Florida after missing out on the tournament the past few years.”

Over 170 contestants from 36 colleges and universities, representing 13 countries comprised the field for the 2007 PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship.

State Farm Insurance and The Golf Channel have combined to produce one-hour Championship highlight programs, which will air on June 6 at 3 pm ET and on June 23 at 4 pm ET.