PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – On Friday at PGA Golf Club, the Chicago State University women’s team jumped out to the first-round lead, while Bethune-Cookman University took the early lead in the Division I Men's competition at the 28th PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship.
The 2014 edition of the Championship features nearly 200 players representing more than 40 colleges and universities. The 54-hole Championship concludes Sunday.
2014 PGA MINORITY COLLEGIATE GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
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The Bethune-Cookman men’s team, which opened with a 10-over-par 298 total on the Wanamaker Course, took a two-stroke lead over Alabama State University. Savannah State University is in third place at 301.
Both Bethune-Cookman and Alabama State will be competing in NCAA regionals next week.
Bethune-Cookman was led by senior Matthew McKnight, who shot 3-under-par 69 on the Wanamaker Course at PGA Golf Club.
“It was really windy today, so I was very impressed with my overall play,” said McKnight, who is competing in his fourth and final PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship. “We have three seniors, a junior and a sophomore playing this week and feel extremely comfortable on this golf course.”
The Chicago State women's team, which played on the adjacent Ryder Course, used a team total of 309, to grab a nine-stroke lead over the University of Houston-Victoria. Defending Champion Bethune-Cookman is in third at 321.
Brooke Melvin of Temecula, Calif., led Chicago State with an opening-round 76.
“I was able to keep the ball in the fairway today and make some putts, which was important,” said Melvin. “The team wanted to come out strong and it’s my last collegiate tournament so I really wanted to play well.”
In the Division II men’s competition, defending champion Lincoln University from Jefferson City, Mo., took the early lead over Texas A&M International University by three strokes.
Senior Brian Lillevold shot 70 to lead the Lincoln University Blue Tigers, which had a team total of 291.
“I started quick with a birdie on my first two holes and I just coasted from there,” said Lillevold. “We are probably the favorites this year coming back as the defending champion. And if we can just play our game, I think we will be okay coming down the stretch.”
In the Women's Individual Invitational, Cheryl Chua of South Carolina State opened with 72 on the Ryder Course. Kalea Heu of Utah Valley University shot 74 and is in second place.
In the Men's Individual Invitational, Dominique Worthen of LeMoyne-Owen College shot an opening-round 72 and leads the division by two strokes over Joseph Journey of the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.
Defending champion Robert Grant of Alabama State University shot 76, and is in a tied for third place.
In the Men’s NAIA Division, the University of Houston-Victoria grabbed the first-round lead over Edward Waters College of Jacksonville, Florida.
The PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, which originated in November 1986 following the Jackson State University Golf Tournament, has elevated golf in minority colleges and universities by providing opportunities to more players to compete in a national championship.
In 2006, the PGA of America was granted complete ownership and management of the championship by the National Minority Collegiate Golf Scholarship Fund.
Men’s Team Division I