PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Even though his team cruised to victory for its first title in the 25-year history of the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, Morehouse College Head Golf Coach Bill Lewis, PGA, will not let his team take it for granted and assume a Championship in 2011.
"It was really special to win this Championship and my student-athletes were excited about playing so well," says Lewis, a 16-year PGA member. "But we need to shoot well and go really low each day to have a chance, considering how strong the teams will be this year."
2011 PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship
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The 25th PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship presented by Brown Capital Management will once again feature nearly 200 athletes from minority-serving institutions and minority students attending any college or university. PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla., will host the Championship on May 6-8, for the 14th consecutive year.
The Maroon Tigers brought home their first Division II title last year by a resounding 20 strokes over Division II foe Virginia State University.
Recent Morehouse graduate Philip Allen, who also graduated from The First Tee of Atlanta, led the Maroon Tigers in 2010 with a sterling 2-under par 214 total. Lewis knows that his team will need new leadership following Allen's departure.
"Most of my players grew up in The First Tee and they learned life skills as well as the game of golf," explains Lewis. "This paid huge dividends last year and helped us win our first title in this Championship."
Morehouse College, which makes its home in the heart of Atlanta, has had 30 student-athletes from The First Tee of Atlanta compete on the golf team.
The Maroon Tigers return four of five players from last year's team, including seniors Olajuwon Ajanaku, Earl Cooper and Thaddaeus Hill.
"We know what we are up against, but I know we can play well," says Lewis. "We are going to try and bring back a title to Morehouse."
The 54-hole, stroke-play Championship will consist of three team divisions: NCAA Men's Division I and II and a Women's Division.
In addition, there is an Individual Invitational competition for minority men and women contestants.
The Individual Invitational is open to students who are African-American, Hispanic-American, Native- or Alaskan-American, Asian- or Pacific Island-American.
Also returning to defend their crowns are the University of Texas-Pan American, winner of four Division I titles, and Bethune-Cookman University in the Women's Division.
Men's Independent Division Champion Amit Odaiyar from the University of Central Florida is also back to defend his title.
"We are so excited to again host the 25th PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, which is always one of our Association's most exciting weekends thanks to many of golf's truly exceptional student-athletes," says PGA President Allen Wronowski. "PGA Golf Club will be a most worthy host and we will crown some most-deserving Champions."
For the 17th consecutive year, the Championship will also include a Business of Golf Career Expo, featuring golf industry associations and companies that enable student-athletes to learn about additional employment opportunities in manufacturing, media, trade, golf course management and the game's premier governing bodies.
Student-athletes will have the opportunity to present resumes for internships and employment.
The debut broadcast of the 2011 PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship presented by Brown Capital Management highlight show will air on June 29 at 8 p.m., ET, on Golf Channel.
Additional airing times will be July 4 at 9 a.m., and July 26 at 5 p.m.
About The PGA of America
Celebrating its 95th year, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission of its founders: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf.
By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in a multi-billion dollar golf industry.
By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.