PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (Nov. 13, 2017) -- The 16th PGA Jones Cup will be contested Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 14-15, at PGA Golf Club, with 19 teams representing PGA Golf Management Universities nationwide. The 36-hole National Championship for PGA Golf Management Universities features 95 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.
“The Jones Cup is a signature event for our top playing PGA Golf Management University students and a tremendous source of pride for all participating ,” said PGA President Paul Levy. “The true prize from the Championship is the opportunity for networking and relationship building for future PGA Professionals. Golf is all about relationships and the Championship is perfectly aligned to showcase one’s talent within a team and exhibit the ideals of sportsmanship.”
RELATED: Complete coverage of the 2017 PGA Jones Cup
Two-time defending champion New Mexico State returns to the Tom Fazio-designed Wanamaker Course at PGA Golf Club after winning last year’s Jones Cup by three strokes over Florida Gulf Coast University.
It was the third title for New Mexico State, which claimed its initial crown in 2006. The Aggies mark their 30th year in the PGA Golf Management University program.
They return three members from the 2016 champion team – junior Josh Elder of Tucson, Arizona; Tristin Goodwin of Farmington, New Mexico; and senior Cole Lorenz of Billings Montana, who is making his fourth consecutive appearance.
“We have a team of class acts,” said New Mexico State Golf Management Director Pat Gavin. “I’m naturally proud of them as I am of those who have graduated before them. They are the next ambassadors of the game.” Gavin, in his 25th year as NMSU Program Director, noted the Jones Cup’s appeal. “This Championship has taken off in the past few years. We have alumni, PGA Members and friends of the program very interested in the outcome,” he said.
Gavin will not be present this week at PGA Golf Club, and that is by design. Josh Salmon, the Aggies’ eight-year PGA Golf Management Program Specialist, said Gavin is superstitious. “He said, ‘I’m not allowed in the state of Florida during the week of the Championship,’ ” said Salmon.
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 1,800-plus students enrolled in the program nationwide.
University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s Tiana Jones, a native of Alliance, Ohio, is the lone woman in the field. Jones is making her fourth consecutive Jones Cup trip. She is a three-time PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Women’s Invitational Champion.
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.