TSU, Texas-Pan American take crowns

By Randy Stutzman
Updated: May 11, 2009

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Tennessee State University made a furious comeback in the final round to capture the Division I men’s title and the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg cruised to victory to claim the women’s team division crown at the 23rd PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship.

Tennessee State made up 10 strokes on the final day, with three of their five players firing under-par rounds. Chris Seibel of Indianapolis, Ind., who fired a final round 1-under par 71, birdied the 17th hole and saved par on No. 18 to seal the victory.

The Tigers won the division by one-stroke over defending champion Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla. The University of Texas-Pan American finished in third place overall.

“We had a feeling it would be close and could feel the tension building the whole day,” said Seibel, a junior. “Our team is young and has been struggling all year but we came out and played well and can not wait to come back next year.”

Head Coach Chip Taylor, a PGA Professional, knew his team would have to be aggressive all day.

“We had a rough start, really,” said Taylor, who is in his third year with the program. “I knew going into the final round there was going to be some pressure but I told them go out and play their game. They finished very strong.”

Taylor understood how close the competition was heading into the final few holes.

“I knew our team was either one ahead or tied, and we just happened to be one ahead,” said Taylor. “I do not see why our team, which is so young, can not come out again and do this again next year.”

Roberto Cacho of South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, S.C., won the Division I men’s individual standings title after carding a final round even-par 72.

In the women’s division, the University of Texas-Pan-American won for the first time since 2005, defeating Bethune-Cookman University by 22-strokes. Hampton (Va.) University finished in third place overall.

Majo Camey from the University of Texas-Pan American claimed the women’s individual medalist honors with a three-day-total of 225.

“I am really glad for our team,” said Camey, a freshman. “We were playing with everything we had all year and we made enough putts to come out on top.”

Fayetteville (N.C.) State University took home their fourth consecutive Division II title with a three-day total of 6-under-par 858. Lincoln University of Jefferson City, Mo., finished in second place, 34-strokes behind. Virginia State University finished in third place overall.

Joel Lynn, from Sanford, N.C., led the Broncos with a 7-under-par 209 total.

Head Coach Raymond McDougal was very proud of how his team fared.

“This is probably the best group we have ever had at this university,” said McDougal. “We had a full schedule of tournaments leading up to this event but my players wanted to make it here to compete and win.”

Edward Waters College, the only team competing in the NAIA division, cruised to the 2009 title after carding a final round 329. The Tigers were led by Kipp Jones of Greenville, Wyo., who recorded a three-day total of 236.

“We wanted to gain confidence in ourselves and play against individuals in other divisions to see where we stood,” said Jones, who was competing in his first Championship. “This helps us in the future when we play in other tournaments.”

Sara Young of Florida State University in Tallahassee captured the women’s independent division with a final-round 76, defeating first-round leader first round leader Etivise Latu from California State University, Monterey Bay by four-strokes Rebecca DeLeon of the University of Texas-Pan American finished in third place overall.

“Playing with my closest competition [Etivise Latu] worked out perfect,” said Young, a junior from Jacksonville, Fla. “I could pay attention to what she was doing but also just play my game and not worry too much.”

Young emphasized the importance of the Minority Championship in her career.

“I would recommend this Championship to anyone who gets invited; it has given me confidence throughout my college career,” said Young, who was competing in her third and final Championship. “They treat us like celebrities and it was a really positive experience.”

In the Independent men’s division, Dustin Thompson from the University of North Carolina, carded a final round 71 to win the men’s independent division. Christian Heavens of Georgetown College finished in second place, two-strokes behind. Amit Odaiyar of Florida Atlantic University finished in third place overall.

Nearly 150 contestants from 30 colleges and universities comprised the field for the 2009 PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship.

NOTE: The debut broadcast of the 2009 highlight show on Golf Channel will air on Thursday, July 9 at 7:30 pm ET. Additional airing times will be released at a later date.