|Texas-Pan American, Bethune-Cookman and Fayetteville State score first round leads at PGA Championship|
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- On a blustery Friday at PGA Golf Club, the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, used a team effort to grab the first-round Division I Men's lead, while Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla., took the lead in the Women's Division at the 26th PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship presented by Brown Capital Management.
In Division II, Fayetteville State University grabbed an early 13-stroke lead over Lincoln University of Jefferson City, Mo.
The Championship features nearly 180 players representing over 40 colleges and universities. The 54-hole championship concludes Sunday.
Texas-Pan American, which opened with a team total of 294, owns a seven-stroke lead over Alabama State University. Tennessee State University is alone in third place at 302.
The Broncs were led by Santiago Bueno of Mexico, who opened with an even-par 72; and Kevin Kirakossian of Tualatin, Ore., who shot 73.
"The wind made it very difficult today, but I managed to finish very strong and help the team," said Bueno, who is competing in his second Championship. "This is my last college tournament, so I want to bring home a title and finish well."
Kirakossian, a veteran who is competing in his third Championship, was able to steady his round after a bogey on the par-5 first hole on the Wanamaker Course.
"I definitely didn't start the round like I wanted; you are supposed to birdie the par 5s out here," said Kirakossian, who was a member of the 2010 Championship squad. "But I was able to steady myself after that and finish well for the team."
The Bethune-Cookman women's team, which played on the adjacent Ryder Course and had a team total of 305, used a solid 72 by Patrizia Trevisan of Austria to grab a 19-stroke lead over South Carolina State University.
Texas-Pan American, the defending champion in the women's division, is in a tie for third with Hampton (Va.) University at 329.
"I had a rough start with two opening bogeys, but I recovered and am really happy with how I finished," said Trevisan, a freshman. "This tournament is so important and we want to win the title badly."
Shaking off the fatigue of 54 rain-soaked holes at the NCAA Div II Atlantic Regional, Fayetteville State returned to the form that enabled it to coast to yet another CIAA Championship with a brilliant round of 300 as a team to take a 13-shot lead after the first round of Division II competition.
Led by Jedidiah Frazier (So., Havelock, N.C.), who leads the tournament after a 1-under-par 71, the Broncos overcame blustery conditions to romp to the lead of the 54-hole event. The Broncos lead Lincoln (Mo.), which carded a 313, while fellow CIAA member and defending PGA champion Virginia State was four more shots back in third at 317.
Jacob Barge (Jr., Fayetteville, N.C.) who qualified for next week’s NCAA Championship after finishing fourth as an individual at the regional, was one shot back of Frazier after a 72.
"The wind was just unbelievable and you had to hit fairways and greens in regulation to post a good score," said Barge. "I was really satisfied with my round and got the most out of what was a difficult day."
Lincoln Jackson (Sr., Southern Pines, N.C.), who along with fellow senior Mike Wallace (Fayetteville, N.C.) is playing in his last collegiate tournament, added a solid 77 while CIAA Player of the Year Brandon Jobe (Fr., Fayetteville, N.C.) shot 80 and Wallace shot 81.
Fayetteville State has a rich history at the Minority championship, winning it four straight times from 2006 to 2009. The Broncos also captured the title in 1996 and 1996, and their six championships are the most in the history of the event (St. Augustine’s won five straight from 1990-94).
In the Men's Independent Division, Justin Watkins from the University of Central Oklahoma and Chris Davis of Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis., each shot an opening-round 74 and own a two-stroke lead over Louis Kelly of Adelphi University in New York.
"It was extremely windy out there today and I spent the whole day really grinding to shoot a good score," said Watkins. "Birdies were hard to come by, and I had three, and overall I am happy with how I performed."
In the Women's Independent Division, Mia Campbell of Alabama State University took the lead after an opening-round 83. She leads Arial McNair of Xavier University by one stroke.
PGA of America's Randy Stutzman and Fayetteville State's Alex Podlogar contributed to this article
|Last Updated ( Sun May 20, 2012 - 7:14am )|