Florida Gulf Coast takes three-stroke lead after first round of PGA Jones Cup

By John Dever
Published on
Florida Gulf Coast takes three-stroke lead after first round of PGA Jones Cup

Port St. Lucie, Fla. (November 1, 2016) – Excuse Defending Champion New Mexico State University for feeling equal parts nostalgic and hopeful after the first round of the 15th Jones Cup, which is being played at PGA Golf Club.

At 298, the Aggies trail first-round leader Florida Gulf Coast University (295), which is located in Fort Myers, by just three shots. Campbell University (302) of Buies Creek, North Carolina and Eastern Kentucky (303) are in third and fourth place, respectively, but within shouting distance of front-running FGCU.

Last year, New Mexico State claimed its second Jones Cup title by channeling the incredible emotions associated with the unexpected passing of 18 year-old Gage Gavin, the son of New Mexico State’s Golf Management Director, Pat Gavin, to overcoming a two-stroke deficit in the final round.

The Aggies will look to again script some familiar final-round magic as the 36-hole event concludes on Wednesday on PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start.

FGCU, meanwhile, faces the challenge of winning this event for the first time. Their PGA Golf Management University Program was born in 2005, so Wednesday has the potential to yield a monumental moment for the program. 

To date, only seven programs have had the honor of hoisting the Jones Cup: Campbell (4), Mississippi State (3), New Mexico State (2), Coastal Carolina (2), Ferris State (1), the University of Idaho (1) and North Carolina State (1).

Alex Reynolds’ first-round 70 not only set the tone for the Florida Gulf Coast, it matched UNLV’s Matthew Rion for the low individual score on Tuesday.

“I made a 15-foot bogey putt on Hole 2, so the day could’ve gone in a much different direction,” said Reynolds, who hails from Jackson, Michigan. “It was a tough day. You really had to take advantage of the shorter holes and take your medicine on the longer holes, especially those into the wind. Overall, I’m happy with my round and our team’s score.  Hopefully we can go low tomorrow.”

Rion, a two-time Jones Cup participant, carded birdies on the first and 10th holes to break up 16 pars.

“It was pretty tough, especially as the wind started to pick up on the back nine,” Rion said. “I had to tough it out and scramble quite a bit.  But it was a lot of fun out there.”

The PGA 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 provides a platform where participants can display professionalism, integrity, character and camaraderie; all characteristics Dr. Jones instilled in PGA Golf Management students.

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 over 2,000 students enrolled in the program nationwide.   

Round 1 Scores

Florida Gulf Coast--145-150--295; Alex Reynolds 34-36--70; Matthew Chen 38-36--74; Alex Holt 35-39--74; Tanner Nipper 38-39--77; Mei Khuan Yong 43-36—79

New Mexico State--156-142--298; Redge Camacho 37-36--73; Nathan LeBlanc 39-35--74; Cole Lorenz 40-35--75; Josh Elder 40-36--76; Tristin Goodwin 42-42—84

Campbell--149-153--302; Corey Layton 35-37--72; Peter Clarke 34-39--73; Luke Polland 40-38--78; Matthew McCord 40-39--79; Johannes Fonts Zitzer 39-41—80

Eastern Kentucky--151-152--303; Tyler Collet 38-35--73; Nathan Bratcher 38-36--74; Phillip Webb 37-39--76; Madison Erskine 38-42--80; Robert Wolfers 40-42—82

Clemson--156-154--310; Chris Sells 38-36--74; Eric Flood 37-39--76; Wes Foskey 41-38--79; Robbie Failes 40-41--81; Andrew Reeves 45-44—89

Methodist--153-158--311; Drew Billard 34-40--74; Steven Traska 41-36--77; Jack Ramsett 38-42--80; Kerry Connors 40-40--80; AJ Clark 41-40—81

Mississippi State--160-152--312; Bobby Flanagan 40-36--76; Luke Reilly 40-37--77; Keifer Clary 40-39--79; Hayden Hauss 40-40--80; Zach Tate 43-44—87

UNLV--149-163--312; Matthew Rion 35-35--70; Jake Dolby 39-39--78; Phil Soo Kim 38-44--82; Tanner Manser 37-45--82; Sawyer Spackman 42-42—84

North Carolina State--155-158--313; Michael Pittelli 39-37--76; Nat Chen 40-37--77; Ben Justus 40-39--79; Kevin Campbell 36-45--81; Ryan Miller 45-42—87

Ferris State--155-160—315*; James Delnick 37-38--75; David Rudary 36-40--76; Benjamin Spector 39-39--78; Christian Hayden 43-43--86; Dominic Scopone 43-39—82

*Four-Stroke Team Penalty

Sam Houston State--155-160--315; Shane Hall 38-36--74; Dylan Rowe 37-39--76; Marko Lloyd 41-41--82; Spencer Dillard 39-44--83; Matthew Boundy 47-42—89

Coastal Carolina--158-160--318; John Fanning 39-38--77; Jacob Vaiknoras 41-39--80; Bryan Hunt 40-40--80; Zach Taylor 38-43--81; Andrew Roy 42-41—83

Nebraska--159-159--318; Brad Bailey 37-36--73; Kramer Samuelson 36-39--75; Aaron Hart 41-39--80; Jacob Frodyma 45-45--90; Zach Gleysteen 47-56—103

Penn State--166-152--318; Christopher North 41-35--76; David Ross 38-38--76; Gabriel Rivera 40-41--81; Michael Esworthy 47-38--85; Brandon Beatty 46-42—88

UMES--160-158--318; Norman Blanco 40-34--74; Bryce Young 39-39--78; Tiana Jones 40-42--82; Justin Diggs 41-43--84; Bobby Donson 44-40—84

Florida State--159-162--321; Spencer Smith 37-39--76; Dan Huffingham 40-41--81; Zachary Brown 40-42--82; Ross Gutlohn 42-40--82; Turner Meek 43-41—84

UCCS--158-165--323; Matt Weiss 40-40--80; Jayden Bruun 39-42--81; Bradley Myers 39-42--81; Chris Ingram 40-41--81; Patrick Gregoire 43-39—82

UCO--171-159--330; Austin Krewson 43-36--79; Holden Crago 44-37--81; Jake Loveland 44-41--85; Garrett Marler 40-45--85; Ross Smith 44-42—86

Idaho--178-178--356; Drew Carlson 43-44--87; David Currie 43-44--87; Emilio Rodriguez 46-43--89; Brennen Eilek 46-47--93; Tanner Crisofulli 44-52—96