|PGA Minority Golf Championship: Tennessee State moves into first, FSU, B-CU maintain leads|
By Randy Stutzman, PGA of America
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- With strong winds playing a big factor for the second consecutive day, Tennessee State University stormed into the lead in Men's Division I, while Bethune-Cookman University continued to lead the Women's Division heading into the final round of the 26th PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship presented by Brown Capital Management.
The 2012 Championship, played on the Wanamaker and Ryder Courses at PGA Golf Club, features nearly 180 players representing over 40 colleges and universities. The 54-hole championship concludes tomorrow.
The Bethune-Cookman women's team, which has a team total of 616, saw its lead shrink to just five strokes over South Carolina State University.
Tiana Jones of Alliance, Ohio, led the charge for South Carolina State, shooting a Championship-low 4-under-par 68 on the Ryder Course.
Jones offset a bogey and double bogey with an impressive seven birdies. She leads the women's overall medalist race by one stroke over Bethune-Cookman's Patrizia Trevisan of Austria.
"I didn't even go to the range this morning, I only did short-game work," said Jones. "And it turned out that my short game was beyond an 'A' Grade."
Jones opened with an 82 on Friday and knew she needed improve on that score to give her team a chance on Sunday.
"I knew my team needed me and I had to go low," said Jones. "Yesterday I couldn't make a birdie to save my neck and today I couldn't keep count."
Hampton is in third with a 643.
In Men's Division I, Tennesse State, which trailed first-round leader Texas-Pan American by eight strokes, opened up a five-stroke lead heading into the final round. The Tigers have a team total of 598.
Bethune-Cookman is in third place overall at 609.
The Tigers were led by Andrew Warner of Hendersonville, Tenn. The sophomore, who opened with a 76, shot a second-round 72.
His round was highlighted by a chip-in birdie at the par-5 15th on the Wanamaker Course.
"On 15, I hit a pretty bad tee shot and a pretty bad approach but I caught a big break when the ball went into the hole," said Warner. "That got me back to even for the day and I was able to hold it together the rest of the round."
Warner knew his team had to play well to give themselves a chance to win their third title in Championship history.
"We wanted to go out there and play smart with all the wind that was going to make scores higher for everybody," said Warner. "We knew that with a few good rounds we could get right back in it and that's what we did today."
Santiago Bueno from Texas-Pan American, who fired a second-round 73, leads the medalist race by three strokes heading into the final round.
In Division II, Fayetteville State University extended its lead to 25 strokes over Lincoln University of Jefferson City, Mo.
Morehouse College from Atlanta, which won the 2010 Championship, is in third at 642.
The Broncos were led by Junior Jake Barge of Fayetteville, N.C.
Barge, who opened with opened with a 72, carded a second-round 71 and leads the medalist race by one stroke over teammate Jedidiah Frazier of Havelock, N.C., who shot 72 on Saturday.
"We wanted to go out there today and do better as a team than we did yesterday," said Barge. "If you can improve each round then you have done something special. Especially on this course and in this weather."
In the Men's Independent Division, Justin Watkins from the University of Central Oklahoma grabbed the 36-hole lead, shooting a second straight 74 to lead Louis Kelly of Adelphi University in New York by two strokes heading into the final round.
"I striped the ball off the tee and don't think I missed a fairway all day," said Watkins. "I really grinded and just couldn't score well. I had a goal of getting back to even par and am going to have to play well tomorrow to win this thing."
In the Women's Independent Division, Mia Campbell of Alabama State University and Ariel McNair of Xavier University are tied for the lead at 163.
"My putting got better today and I hope it continues tomorrow," said Campbell. "Ariel is a great player, fun to play with and will be hard to beat on Sunday."
|Last Updated ( Sun May 20, 2012 - 7:13am )|