PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Bethune-Cookman University extended its lead in the Division I Men's competition on Saturday, while Chicago State University and Bethune-Cookman are tied in the women’s division heading into the final round of 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 on Sunday.
2014 PGA MINORITY COLLEGIATE GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
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The Bethune-Cookman women's team, which trailed Chicago State by 12 strokes heading into the second round, improved its team total by 26 strokes to put themselves in position for a third consecutive title in the Championship.
The team was led in the second round by junior Andrea Orozco, who followed up an 81 in the opening round with a 2-under-par 70 in round two.
“We want to repeat as champions again and we were making it happen playing as well as we did today,” said Orozco. “We are set to win tomorrow and will try to go as low as possible as a team.”
But Bethune-Cookman will have to hold off a Chicago State team looking for its first title in school history.
“It’s going to be close tomorrow, that’s for sure,” said Chicago State senior Brooke Melvin, who shot a second-round 74. “But we just have to go out and play our game and the golf course in front of us. Hopefully we can finish strong.”
In the Division I Men’s competition, Bethune-Cookman extended its lead to three strokes over Alabama State University.
Both Bethune-Cookman, which finished with a two-day total of 595, and Alabama State will be competing in NCAA regionals next week.
“The men’s team came out a little stagnant yesterday,” said PGA Professional Scooter Clark, the head men’s and women’s coach at Bethune-Cookman University. “We practiced really hard following yesterday’s round and the team really improved today.”
Savannah State University in Georgia was boosted by a sparking 5-under-par 67 by Travis Roe and sits third place overall, eight shots off the pace. Poe’s 18-hole score was the lowest of the Championship thus far.
In Division II, Lincoln University from Jefferson City, Mo., extended its lead over Texas A&M International University to four strokes heading into the final round on Sunday.
Lincoln University was led by senior Brian Lillevold, who used a second-round 74 for an even-par 144 total.
California State University–Dominguez Hills is third, 24 strokes back of Lincoln University.
“I started off well again today and played really well on the front,” said Lillevold. “My putter went a bit cold on the back, but I had a pretty good round overall. The team is looking forward to the final round tomorrow.”
In the Men's Individual Invitational, 2012 Champion Justin Watkins from the University of Central Oklahoma shot a second-round 69 for a 145 total and a three-stroke lead over defending champion Robert Grant of Alabama State University.
First-round leader Dominique Worthen of LeMoyne-Owen College is third, five strokes back of Watkins.
“I limited my mistakes today and had six birdies, which helped a bunch,” said Watkins. “I’m having a lot of fun this week and no matter what happens, I’m going to have fun tomorrow. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself.”
In the Women's Individual Invitational, Cheryl Chua of South Carolina State leads Tiana Jones of South Carolina State University by two strokes. Chua followed up an opening-round 72 with an 80 in round two.
In the Men’s NAIA Division, the University of Houston-Victoria continues to lead over Edward Waters College of Jacksonville, Fla. Houston-Victoria improved its team total by 17 strokes in the second round to extend its lead heading into the final round.
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.