Bethune-Cookman teams set to defend titles at PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship
By PGA of America
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The 31st PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship Presented by CastleOak Securities L.P., will take place May 11th-14th on the Ryder and Wanamaker Courses at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
The most diverse and culturally significant tournament in golf, the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship features both team and individual competitions of both men and women golfers. The 54-hole, stroke-play Championship is contested in four-team divisions: NCAA Men’s Division I, Men’s Division II, Men’s NAIA, and an overall Women’s division.
While many of the participating teams represent historically black colleges and universities, the individual competition is open to any minority men and women student-athletes playing collegiate golf at the Division I, Division II, or NAIA levels, or participants who are enrolled in one of the PGA of America’s PGA Golf Management University Programs.
In 2016, Bethune-Cookman University, located in Daytona Beach, Fla., captured both the Men’s Division I and the Women’s Division, while Cal State - Dominguez Hills, located in Carson, Calif., won the Men’s Division II title. The University of Houston-Victoria, located in Victoria, Kan., took home the Men’s NAIA championship.
In the individual competition, Tiana Jones of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, located in Princess Anne, Md., captured the 2016 Women’s title, while Siyan Liu of Palm Beach Atlantic University, in West Palm Beach, Fla., won the Men’s title. All 2016 team and individual champions will return to defend their titles in 2017.
“We are proud to support the PGA of America and their important efforts to promote greater diversity in the sport,” said CastleOak Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer David R. Jones. “Providing minority students of all backgrounds greater opportunities to pursue their academic, athletic, and career aspirations is a priority for CastleOak Securities. We believe meaningful off-course initiatives that take place during Championship week demonstrate how we can help these students reach their fullest potential.”
One of the most important aspects of the week is the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship’s Career Expo, where participating student-athletes are educated on the vast employment prospects available in the global golf business as well as opportunities beyond the golf industry.
The PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship originated at a meeting in November 1986 following the Jackson State University Golf Tournament. The gathering produced a group of founders: the late Dr. Herschel Cochrane; Dr. Joe D. Saunders of the National Negro Golf Association; Eddie Payton, Jackson State University Golf Coach; 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 at minority colleges and universities by giving them an opportunity to compete in a championship in an era when they were excluded from playing in many NCAA Collegiate golf events. The inaugural Championship was conducted in the spring of 1987 at Highland Park Golf Course in Cleveland.
Since 1998, PGA Golf Club has hosted 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.
On Wednesday, July 5th, Golf Channel will air a one-hour recap program highlighting the Championship and its participants, as well as the career expo and other events for the student-athletes.
For more information on the 31st PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship presented by CastleOak Securities, please visit here.