PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- When Ashleigh Anderson looks back on her PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship experience, it brings a smile to her face.
Anderson, a member of the Florida State University women’s golf team from 2004-08, competed in the Women’s Independent Division in both the 2007 and 2008 Championships. She competed alongside fellow Seminole and two-time champion Sara Young, and the two traveled together each year to the Championship.
2012 PGA MINORITY COLLEGIATE GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
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“It was such a great experience for me and my teammate Sara and she played so well,” said Anderson. “It was a great bonus that we were able to spend some quality time together and play in a wonderful tournament at the same time.”
Anderson, who spent part of her childhood in Orlando, Fla., and the Orlando Minority Youth Golf Association, is also excited to see how much the Championship itself has grown.
“I think it’s nice to see how the tournament has grown, but it’s also nice to see how much the Career Expo has grown as well,” said Anderson. “I think it’s important for players to see that they can work in the golf industry and not just play professionally.”
For the 18th consecutive year, the Championship will 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 résumés for internships and employment.
For the past three years, Anderson has been working at the LPGA, where she coordinates tournaments and member programs. She will also participate in a panel discussion at the 2012 Championship, where a group of industry professionals will discuss growing the game.
“It’s been a pleasure to work at the LPGA and I really love what I do,” said Anderson. “I am a product of junior golf and working at the LPGA has helped me to continue to grow the game among juniors and women.”
The 2012 edition of the Championship, from May 11-13, will feature more than 180 participants from over 40 colleges and universities will make up the field for the National Championship, contested on the Tom Fazio-designed Ryder and Wanamaker Courses.
The 54-hole, stroke-play event will consist of three team divisions, NCAA Men's Division I and II, and a Women's Division.
In addition to the team competition, the Championship features a men's and women's Individual Invitational that is open to collegiate golfers who are African-American, Hispanic-American, Native or Alaskan American, Asian or Pacific Island American.
About The PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship
The PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship presented by Brown Capital Management originated from a meeting in November 1986 following the Jackson State University Golf Tournament. The meeting resulted in a group of founders: the late Dr. Herschel Cochrane, Dr. Joe D. Saunders of the National Negro Golf Association; Jackson State University Golf Coach Eddie Payton; Rose Harper-Elder of the Sports Management Institute; and William (Bill) Dickey, founder of the Bill Dickey Scholarship Association and recipient of the 1999 PGA Distinguished Service Award.
The founders' goal was to elevate the game of golf in minority colleges and universities by giving each a chance to compete in a championship after being denied opportunities to compete in NCAA Collegiate golf events. The inaugural Championship was conducted in the spring of 1987 at Highland Park Golf Course in Cleveland, Ohio. Since 1998, PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla., has been host to the Championship, and in 2006, The PGA of America was granted complete ownership and management of the Championship by the National Minority College Golf Scholarship Fund.