New Mexico State wins PGA Jones Cup for first time since 2006

By John Dever
Published on
New Mexico State wins PGA Jones Cup for first time since 2006

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – The drought is over for New Mexico State University. The Aggies won the 14th Jones Cup on Wednesday at PGA Golf Club, despite playing with a greater purpose in mind. 
The Aggies captured their PGA Golf Management Program's second Jones Cup, first since 2006, by nine strokes over defending champion Campbell University (584) of Buies Creek, North Carolina. 2013 Champion Ferris State University (590) of Big Rapids, Michigan and Clemson (594), finished third and fourth, respectively.  
The 36-hole event concluded Wednesday, with each of the 19 universities that sponsor the PGA Golf Management program showcasing the talents of five players in the annual team event.
The Aggies won with gross score of 1-under-par 575, despite having played a man down since June. That was when Gage Gavin, the son of New Mexico State’s Golf Management Director, Pat Gavin, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 18. 
"This victory today meant a lot for our program, especially with Pat and his family going through such a tough year," said Josh Salmon, the Aggies' PGA Golf Management Program Specialist, who stepped in for his boss due to a scheduling conflict. "A few weeks ago, our guys dedicated this Jones Cup to Gage and the entire Gavin family. 
"We really wanted to bring a little bit of sunshine in what has been a dark year for all of us," he added. "Pat talked to the kids last night. He's with us. To win this [the Jones Cup] means the world to the kids. They delivered for Pat and the program."
With three seniors and two juniors, New Mexico State had the most experienced team in the field, yet they trailed defending champion Campbell, by two shots at the end of Tuesday's first round. Campbell's squad is supremely talented, but almost entirely new to the tension and pressures associated with the Jones Cup.  
While battling unseasonably high temps and a short spat of rain, New Mexico State's experience showed through on Wednesday as they pulled away from the field. 
The Aggies' team tally of 1-under par was especially impressive considering the entire field combined for just 15 sub-par rounds over two days. New Mexico State accounted for four of those sub-par scores. 
Fittingly, two of the Aggies' seniors, Nathan LeBlanc (69-71) and Brett Walker (70-70), shared medalist honors with a two-day total of 140 on the Wanamaker Course. Both LeBlanc and Walker hail from Northern California and have been friends since their days in playing high school and junior golf.
"It is great to share [medalist honors] with Nathan, who has been one of my buddies for so long," said Walker, who hails from Ukiah, which is about an hour north of LeBlanc's hometown of Windsor.
LeBlanc agreed before shifting the attention back to the team, "our whole mindset was to play the golf course and stick to our game plans, even when or if we hit a little bump in the road. We did that and it paid off."
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 2,284 students enrolled in the program nationwide.
1. New Mexico State - 575
Brett Walker 70-70
Cole Lorenz 74-72
Nathan LeBlanc 69-71
Redge Camacho 77-73
Anthony Del Dotto 76-73
Team 289-286
2. Campbell - 584
Robert Bose 73-79
Sebastian Hutman 74-75
Skylar Thompson 73-70
Alexander Willey 67-75
Zachary Wood 75-77
Team 287-297
3. Ferris State - 590
Matthew LeGault 72-78
Marc Hulsether 78-73
Ryan Laughlin 71-74
Tyler Nunn 71-73
Justin Haase 78-80
Team 292-298
4. Clemson - 594
Robbie Failes 70-75
Alex Goss 72-77
Chris Gabriele 74-75
Nate Clark 76-76
Alex Totusek 78-76
Team 292-302
T5. Florida Gulf Coast - 598
Corey Weckerling 79-72
Alex Reynolds 74-72
Tanner Nipper 80-76
Austin Davenport 71-74
Turner Batdorf 80-76
Team 304-294
T5. Methodist - 598
Nick DeFalco 72-73
Josh Leddy 79-77
Grant Gardiner 74-77
Sean Gervais 72-74
Chris Boyle 90-89
Team 297-301
T7. Maryland Eastern Shore - 599
Norman Blanco 74-78
Tiana Jones 80-72
Blair Waters 75-75
Jesse Williams 79-83
Bryce Young 71-75
Team 299-300
T7. UNLV - 599
Phil Soo Kim 74-83
Erik Matthewson 76-72
Jake Dolby 71-80
Tyler Hering 78-82
Matt Rion 73-71
Team 294-305
9. North Carolina State - 608
Kevin Campbell 77-74
Daniel Spurling 77-88
Thomas Farrell 76-76
Tyler Noske 70-79
Ben Nelson 76-80
Team 299-309
10. Coastal Carolina - 609
Morgan Deneen 75-76
Jake Vaiknoras 75-74
Bryan Hunt 76-78
Michael Gress 73-82
Joshua Schiavo-Greenly 84-84
Team 299-310
T11. Eastern Kentucky - 610
Konnor Kimmel 82-82
Robert Wolfers 81-75
Austin Molen 81-75
Nathan Bratcher 78-75
Tyler Collet 75-70
Team 315-295
T11. Mississippi State - 610
Keifer Clary 75-75
Will Stoner 78-74
Mack Alford 75-77
Dawson Kipniss 77-81
Bobby Flanagan 79-79
Team 305-305
13. Penn State - 611
Alex Nielan 87-81
Ryan Hagen 79-73
Michael Esworthy 79-75
J.P. Pawlikowski 77-74
Gabriel Rivera 76-78
Team 311-300
T14. Nebraska - 619
Nathan Zimmerman 72-78
Connor Lindahl 78-77
Jake Kuhlman 79-80
Brad Bailey 82-76
Aaron Hart 83-77
Team 311-308
T14. Sam Houston State - 619
Dylan Rowe 76-82
Tyler Davidson 76-81
Jantzen Miserak 77-82
Spencer Dillard 80-69
Shane Hall 81-78
Team 309-310
16. Florida State - 621
Anthony King 76-80
Ryan Muzzonigro 78-81
Kyle Jackson 80-76
Spencer Smith 73-77
Greg Beringer 84-82
Team 307-314
17. Central Oklahoma - 627
Mike Franko 78-80
Hayden Lyman76-81
Holden Crago 79-78
Kurstyn Mills 82-85
Jake Loveland 77-78
Team 310-317
18. Idaho - 637
Tyler Clavin 77-74
Eric McCabe 83-86
Sean Greenhood 79-76
Drew Carlson 84-81
Austin Willis 91-83
Team 323-314
19. Colorado-Colorado Springs - 641
Patrick Kundracik 83-81
Ian Ott 80-77
Josh Kummerfeldt 82-84
Matthew Heckel 82-80
Jared Sloan 75-86