PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Bethune-Cookman University is aiming for a four-year sweep for its women’s team seniors – and a three-peat for its men – when the 29th PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship convenes at PGA Golf Club, May 8-10.
More than 230 student-athletes representing 50 schools are expected to compete in the Championship, which began at Highland Park Golf Course in Cleveland in 1987.
Both the men’s and women’s teams from Bethune-Cookman claimed titles in 2014, sweeping for the second consecutive year and the fourth time overall. It was a Championship-record 11th title for the women; and the seventh for the men.
“We have a group of men and women who are committed to our program and buy into it,” said Bethune-Cookman Head Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach Loritz “Scooter” Clark, a PGA member who competed during the Championship’s first three years. “It’s the same goal for us this year, for both the men and women to win it all.”
Also among the returning champions are:
• Men’s Team Division II - Lincoln University
• Women’s Individual Invitational Medalist Tiana Jones, a University of Maryland-Eastern Shore PGA Golf Management University Program student
• Women’s Team Division Medalist Heather Shake, University of Houston-Victoria
• Men’s NAIA - University of Houston-Victoria and Medalist Steve Jones
The PGA of America and the LPGA will jointly award the woman with the lowest overall score in the 2015 PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship an exemption into the Symetra Tour’s Mission Health Wellness Classic, May 15-17, at the Country Club of Asheville in North Carolina.
The PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship has elevated golf in minority colleges and universities by providing opportunities for players to compete in a national championship. In 2006, the PGA of America was granted complete ownership and management by the National Minority Collegiate Golf Scholarship Fund.
Two events will set the stage for the Championship one day prior on Thursday, May 7:
• Welcome Dinner: The student-athletes will enjoy an evening hosted by Miami Heat announcer Jason Jackson that will feature PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua. In addition, a multi-generational, multi-gender panel will discuss how they used golf in their career paths: Former White House Staff Member Spencer Overton, who competed in the Championship for Hampton University in the 1980s; Shasta Averyhardt, the first African-American to qualify for the LPGA Tour through qualifying school, and a former Jackson State University standout; and Earl Cooper, a PGA Assistant Professional at Detroit Golf Club and children’s book author.
• Business of Golf Career Expo: Conducted in conjunction with the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, the Business of Golf Career Expo will be held at the nearby Island Club, Thurs., May 7, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. The Expo will enable the student-athletes to learn about additional employment opportunities in the industry with leading golf associations and sports industry companies.