PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Under ideal weather conditions Friday at PGA Golf Club, Bethune-Cookman University’s men’s team jumped out to the first-round Division I Men's lead, while the women’s team used a solid effort to grab the early lead in the Women's Division at the 27th PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship presented by Brown Capital Management.
The 2013 edition of the Championship features 200 players representing more than 40 colleges and universities. The 54-hole Championship concludes Sunday.
2013 PGA MINORITY COLLEGIATE GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
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The Bethune-Cookman’s men’s team, which opened with a scorching team total of 5-under-par 283 on the Wanamaker Course, owns a 10-stroke lead over Savannah (Ga.) State University. The University of Texas-Pan American, the defending champion in the division, is in third place at 294.
The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats were spearheaded by brothers Leon and Ryan Fricker of England, who both opened with a 3-under-par 69.
"I played really well on the front nine and made the turn feeling confident," said Ryan, the older of the two brothers. "But I had a bit of a roller coaster on the back nine with birdies, double bogeys and bogeys and it all worked out to a 69.”
The Bethune-Cookman women's team, which played on the adjacent Ryder Course, used a team total of 299, to grab a 10-stroke lead over the University of Texas-Pan American. Chicago State University is in third at 318.
The Wildcats, the defending champion in the women’s team division, were led in the opening round by Championship veterans Patrizia Trevisan of Austria and Marie Bergelin of Denmark, who both shot 74.
“Both our men’s and women’s teams came out strong today,” said Bethune-Cookman head coach Scooter Clark, who is now in his third year at the helm of the Wildcats. “But there is a long way to go and we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. There are too many good teams out here this week, but we are happy with where we are at right now.”
The shot of the day in the women’s team division belonged to Brooke Foster of Delaware State University, who used a 3-hybrid from 161 yards on the seventh hole for an ace.
In the Women's Independent Division, Cheryl Chua of South Carolina State took the lead after an impressive 71. She leads Samantha Garcia of the University of Texas-Pan American by three strokes. Tiana Jones of South Carolina State University is third after opening with a 76.
“I was very consistent off the tee and was able to hit a lot of greens today,” said Chua, a sophomore. “Even though many of my birdie putts didn’t fall, I am really happy with my start.”
In the Men's Independent Division, Robert Grant of Alabama State University opened with a 71, and grabbed a one-stroke lead over Alden Mark Davis of Southeastern University.
Defending champion Justin Watkins from the University of Central Oklahoma is fourth, four-strokes back of Grant.
In Division II, Lincoln University from Jefferson City, Mo.; took an early, 14-stroke lead over Texas A&M International.
Lincoln was led by Steven Mallow of Mountain Grove, Mo.; who opened with a 71.
In the NAIA division, Talladega (Ala.) College grabbed the first-round lead by 17 strokes over Edward Waters College of Jacksonville, Fla.
1 Lincoln University 295
Steven Mallow 71
1 Bethune-Cookman 299
1 Talladega College 304
Robert Grant, Alabama State 71
Cheryl Chua, South Carolina State 71