Bethune-Cookman, Tennessee State set pace at PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship

By john Dever
Published on
Bethune-Cookman, Tennessee State set pace at PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – In search of a fifth consecutive championship, the Bethune-Cookman women are in a familiar spot, atop the Women's Division leaderboard at the 30th PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship presented by CastleOak Securities, which is being played at PGA Golf Club. The 54-hole, stroke-play Championship, which consists of six divisions (four team, two individual), concludes Sunday.
On the Men's Division I side, which was contested on PGA Golf Club's Wanamaker Course, Tennessee State University (295) holds a slim one-shot lead over Bethune-Cookman. Savannah State University is a distant third at 314.  
Texas A&M-International University has never claimed a title at the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, but Friday's 299 paces the 11-team Men's Division II grouping. That's good for a five-shot buffer over California State University-Dominguez Hills (304).
Texas A&M-International's lead is due in large part to Steven Martinez. The junior from Cibolo, Texas, fired a 2-under-par 70 that included six birdies, the last of which came on the difficult par-4 18th.
At 316, the University of Houston-Victoria leads the NAIA Division, which was played on the Ryder Course.
The Bethune-Cookman (295) women have already won a record four consecutive PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championships, and another title this weekend would be their 13th in the 19-year history of the Women's Division. At 303, Chicago State is the only program within shouting distance.
"Our women don't have an automatic conference bid to play for, so this is our season-ending event and it's important," said Head Golf Coach Loritz "Scooter" Clark, who has already amassed six PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championships (four women, two men) in nearly five years at the helm of Bethune-Cookman's men's and women's programs. "This year, we have three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior transfer, so this Championship is new to most of them. But they got a quick indoctrination and they're excited."
Two of Clark’s women, Shamiso Hatchard and Mackenzie Butzer, posted Friday’s low rounds at 73. Despite their youth, Clark’s women equaled the opening-round score posted by last year’s squad, which was led by three seniors. 
Two-time defending Women’s Individual champion, Tiana Jones of the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, began her title defense with a 75 on the Ryder Course. Jones is representing UMES’s PGA Golf Management Program.
“It was actually a rough day, but I started great and that saved me” said Jones, who holds a five-shot advantage over Rachele Orme of Savannah State University and Cathleen Wong of Florida Gulf Coast University. “I’m very competitive and passionate about golf. This [playing golf] is something I hope to do as a career, and the idea of winning a PGA of America event like this, multiple times, means a lot to me.”
On the Men’s Individual side, three players are tied for the lead at 74: James Blackwell of Ball State University, Norman Blanco of UMES and James Lee of Rice University. Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Benjarong Murray is alone in fourth place after opening with a 76.  
The PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship has elevated golf in minority colleges and universities by providing opportunities for players to compete in a national championship. In 2006, the PGA of America was granted complete ownership and management by the National Minority Collegiate Golf Scholarship Fund.
PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship
Friday, May 6, 2016
PGA Golf Club, Port St. Lucie, Florida
First-Round Scores:
Men's Division I
PGA Golf Club/Wanamaker
1. Tennessee State University 134-145--279 
Drew Owens 33-38--71 
Todd McGill 38-36--74 
Jermey Fultz 40-35--75 
Rosario Falzone 34-41--75 
Sam Gatlin 37-43--80
2. Bethune-Cookman University 142-144--286 
Joel Ramirez 36-35--71 
Jackson Kneeshaw 36-38--74 
Connor O'Brien 37-38--75 
Leon Fricker 36-40--76 
Bradley Peil 38-38--76
3. University of Maryland-Eastern Shore 149-157--306 
Blair Waters 35-42--77 
Demarkis Cooper 36-42--78 
Darius Davis 39-40--79 
Timothy Mitchell 41-42--83 
Christian Owens 50-45--95
4. Savannah State University 152-162--314 
Adam Walden 36-41--77 
Kevin Metzger 36-41--77 
Zach Otto 41-39--80 
Riley Keagle 39-41--80
5. North Carolina Central University 157-161--318 
Zane Lewis 38-38--76 
Jordan Bohannon 40-40--80 
Sumner Tate 40-43--83 
Jerome Bostwick 43-49--92 
Michael Wilson 50-44--94
6. Chicago State University 156-163--319 
Brendan Baldwin 39-40--79 
Drew Vanoy 39-44--83 
Miles Bailey 40-44--84 
Austin Egbert 44-43--87 
Brandon Skelding 45-42--87
7. Florida A&M University 161-161--322 
Omari Whitmore 41-36--77 
Kevin Parker 38-39--77 
Dennis Minefee 39-44--83 
Brian Bowman 43-42--85
Women's Team
PGA Golf Club/Ryder
1. Bethune-Cookman University 147-148--295 
Shamiso Hatchard 37-36--73 
Mackenzie Butzer37-36--73 
Yudika Ann Rodriguez 38-36--74 
Saraid Ruiz 35-40--75 
Alejandra Sanchez 38-37--75
2. Chicago State University 152-151--303 
Rachel Johnson 36-38--74 
Fernanda Valdes Solis 39-37--76 
Talialaina Letoi 38-38--76 
Felicia Davenport 39-38--77 
Taneka Sandiford 40-37--77
3. Tennessee State University 164-168--332 
Sarah Needleman 37-41--78 
Kelly Merkel 38-43--81 
Natalie Spicer 42-41--83 
Paige Harlin 47-43--90
4. Hampton University 170-164--334 
Britney Smith 38-41--79 
Zora Moore 43-40--83 
Treliah Samuels 43-40--83 
JiHyun Park 46-43--89 
Milan James 51-42--93
5. Texas A&M International University 168-169--337 
Sasha Linauskas 40-42--82 
Bailey McCawley 42-41--83 
Stephanie Gonzalez 41-42--83 
Hannah Jiao 45-44--89 
Mitzi Cantu 46-47--93
6. University of Houston-Victoria 182-177--359 
Shelbi Vincent 39-36--75 
Brooke Brasseaux 37-42--79 
Reid Whaley 54-45--99 
Jo Ellen Canales 52-54--106
Men's Division II
PGA Golf Club/Wanamaker
1. Texas A&M International University 148-151--299 
Steven Martinez 33-37--70 
Benjamin Page 38-37--75 
Zach Jackson 37-38--75 
Sam Goldfarb 40-39--79 
Adam Jefferson 48-48--96
2. California State University Dominguez Hills 156-148--304 
Christopher Pham 36-39--75 
Bret Gleason 39-37--76 
Drew Dufresne 40-36--76 
Andrew Banuelos 41-36--77 
William Yang 43-42--85
3. Livingston College 155-150--305 
Philip Harrison 37-37--74 
Stephen Washington 39-35--74 
Lenorris Williams 39-35--74 
Harry Standberry 40-43--83 
Telvin Walker 44-42--86
4. Fayetteville State University 154-154--308 
Jared Chinn 38-36--74 
Christopher Jackson 37-39--76 
Isaiah Shaw 38-40--78 
Christian Villanueva 41-39--80 
Austen Parlett 45-48--93
5. Miles College 156-155--311 
Vitthal Parker 37-39--76 
Jacob McCurry 41-36--77 
Kyle Kerns 38-39--77 
Cameron Wilhite 40-41--81 
Josh Lewis 40-44--84
6. Lincoln University 161-158--319 
Blake Lammers 37-38--75 
Deaven Vincent 40-37--77 
Drew Geritz 42-39--81 
Cody Shaw 42-44--86 
Jacob Womack 45-44--89
7. Morehouse College 164-162--326 
Harvey Allen 40-39--79 
Anthony Body 39-42--81 
Lennard Long 42-40--82 
Tommy Swearingen 43-41--84 
Kenneth Dames 51-44--95
8. Benedict College 170-166--336 
Mohammed Nu-Mann 40-39--79 
Kelly Allen 42-41--83 
Rajai Cousley 40-45--85 
Rhaston Jones 48-41--89 
Marqus Edwards 46-43--89
9. Virginia Union University 167-175--342 
Bartosh Kaminski 38-41--79 
Joshua Mohun 40-41--81 
Brandon Bailey 48-39--87 
Austin Haynes 41-54--95 
Ricardo Andrews 50-52--102
10. Elizabeth City State College 175-183--358 
Curtis Vinson 42-39--81 
Tyler Futrell 40-44--84 
William Fallon 44-40--84 
Daniel Nobles 49-60--109
PGA Golf Club/Wanamaker
1. University of Houston-Victoria 151-165--316 
Kirby Amburg 38-40--78 
Hunter Huff 38-40--78 
Cristian Esparza 37-43--80 
Adrian Saenz 38-42--80 
Kaleb Presley 41-42--83
Men's Individual
PGA Golf Club/Wanamaker
1. James Blackwell, Ball State University 38-36--74
T2. Norman Blanco, University of Maryland Eastern Shore 37-37--74
T2.James Lee, Rice University 37-37--74
4. Benjarong Murray, Palm Beach Atlantic University 38-38--76
5. William Godfrey, Francis Marion University 39-39--78
T6. Phil Soo Kim, University of Nevada, Las Vegas 40-39--79
T6. DeJuan Powell, Johnson C. Smith Universirty 40-39--79
8. Siyan Liu, Palm Beach Atlantic University 39-41--80
9. Albert Jennings, Ball State University 40-41--81
T10. Toiriste (TJ) O'Neal, Hampton University 41-41--82
T10. Brandon Rincon, Albion College 40-42--82
12. Angel Ramos, Florida Institute of Technology 42-41--83
13. Kenneth Gaither, Hampton University 40-44--84
T14. Jerrell Hubbard, Paine College 44-42--86
T14. Noel Simms, South Mountain Community College 44-42--86
16. Trevor Pueblo, Haskell Indian Nations 46-41--87
17. Stephen Fitzgerald, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore 43-47--90
18. Joshua Steger, Johnson C. Smith University 44-50--94
19. Jordan Hall, Methodist University 50-45--95
T20. Djimon Dixon, Paine College 49-48--97
T20. Marquis Usher, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore 50-47--97
22. Eddie Crawford, Methodist University 53-46--99
23. Kaliq Dansby, Miles College 55-46--101
-- Daniel Castano, Methodist University NS-NS--NS
-- Will Smartt II, Alabama A&M University WD-WD--WD
Women's Individual
PGA Golf Club/Ryder
1. Tiana Jones, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore 39-36--75
T2. Rachele Orme, Savannah State University 41-39--80
T2. Cathleen Wong, Florida Gulf Coast University 43-37--80
4. Pia Serrano, Chicago State University 39-42--81
5. Sydney Woolfolk, Savannah State University 42-49--91
6. Jasmin Cunningham, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore 48-47--95