PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The 17th PGA Jones Cup will be contested Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 30-31, at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida, with 18 teams representing PGA Golf Management Universities nationwide. The 36-hole National Championship for PGA Golf Management Universities features 90 players (five from each school).
The Jones Cup is named for the first PGA Golf Management University Program Director at Mississippi State, Dr. S. Roland Jones, who held the position from 1985 until his passing in 1997. The event annually provides a platform for participants to display professionalism, integrity, character and camaraderie; all characteristics Dr. Jones instilled in PGA Golf Management students.
Campbell University returns to the Tom Fazio-designed Wanamaker Course at PGA Golf Club after winning last year’s Jones Cup by four shots over New Mexico State.
Last year’s title was a record fifth for Campbell, but it did not come easily. The Camels were pushed by (then) two-time defending champion Aggies, as well as by Coastal Carolina University and Florida Gulf Coast University, who finished just six and seven shots back, respectively.
Despite Campbell’s domination of the event -- they’ve won in five of the last 11 years -- the Camels have never brought the Jones Cup back to their Buies Creek, North Carolina, campus in consecutive years.
With this back-to-back task in mind, Campbell’s PGA Golf Management Director Kenneth Jones will lean on a new cast, as Connor Costello, Evan Rhodes, Skylar Thompson, Alex Willey and Shea Wolfle did not play last year. Thompson and Willey, did help engineer a second-place finish in the 2015 Jones Cup and head to Florida’s Treasure Coast with unfinished business to tend to.
All participating universities in the PGA Jones Cup are schools accredited by the PGA of America to offer the PGA Golf Management University Program for aspiring PGA Professionals. There are currently 1,700-plus students enrolled in the program nationwide.
"I always look forward to the PGA Jones Cup because it provides a preview of what we can expect from our next generation of PGA Professionals," said PGA of America President Paul Levy. "We're proud of our 18 PGA Golf Management Programs and marvel at the field’s collective playing talent. These PGM students compete year-round to play in the Jones Cup, so their passion to represent their programs and to build lasting relationships with their fellow competitors is evident."
This year’s field includes Sydney Roberts from the University of Central Oklahoma, who is playing in her first Jones Cup.
Students in the PGA Golf Management University Program study a combination of golf and business-related subjects; serve a minimum of 16 months in on-course internships within the golf industry; and are eligible for direct election to PGA membership upon graduation and eligible employment.