PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (May 11, 2018) – Seven would certainly be heaven for the Bethune-Cookman women, who jumped out to a 13-stroke advantage in the Women’s Division after one round of play in the 32nd PGA Minority Collegiate Championship. The 54-hole, stroke-play Championship, which consists of six divisions (four team, two individual), is being played on the Wanamaker and Ryder Courses at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
The Bethune-Cookman (297) women have claimed 14 PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championships in the 20-year history of the Women’s Division, including a record six straight. North Carolina A&T is alone in second place after posting a 310 on the Ryder Course.
On the Men’s Division I side, contested on PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course, Bethune-Cookman enjoys a 21-shot buffer over second-place Florida A&M (307). Savannah (Ga.) State University is in third at 310.
RELATED: 32nd PGA Minority Collegiate Championship leaderboards
Marcus Sundlof, Christian Hovstadius, Connor O'Brien and Jake Lane combined on a 2-under-par gross score of 286 for Bethune-Cookman. The Wildcats’ first-day surge, was fueled by Sundlof, a sophomore who carded the lowest round of his young career, a 65 that included five consecutive birdies to close out the front 9 and an eagle on the Wanamaker’s par-5 16th.
“As happy as I was, I tried to remain the same and not let it get too deep in my head,” said Sundlof, whose binge of five straight birdies matched his personal best. “On the day, I made 25-footer, but everything else was inside 15 feet. So, it was good ball striking and an equally good putter.”
At 305, Lincoln (Pa.) University paces Division II and is looking to capture its first PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship since 2014. The Lions have six titles to their credit, but a seventh would move them into a tie with Fayetteville (N.C.) State University for the most in 31 years of Division II play. California State University-Dominguez Hills (309) and Livingstone (N.C.) College (312) rank second and third in Division II, respectively.
Lincoln’s perch was sparked by Deaven Vincent, who posted an opening 71 on Friday. The senior from Benson, North Carolina posted five birdies, including three on his inward 9.
At 307, the University of Houston-Victoria leads the NAIA Division, which was played on the Wanamaker Course. Governors (Ill.) State University is nine shots off the pace at 316. Houston-Victoria has won the NAIA title two years running.
For a second straight year, Mackenzie Butzer led the way for Bethune-Cookman’s women. She opened with a 70 on Friday that included four birdies and just one blemish, a double-bogey on the par-4 15th.
Butzer, a senior from Chatham, Ontario, was the Women’s Team Division Medalist last year, so she’s comfortable with the Ryder Course and its surroundings.
St. John’s University sophomore, Linda Wang, will ride a 2-stroke lead into the second round of the Women’s Individual Division. Wang’s birdie on the par-3 7th ended a string of six pars to begin her round on the Ryder Course. On the back side, she posted birdies on No. 16, a par-3, along with the Ryder’s final two par-5s (Nos. 13 and 17). Rachel Orme (74) of Savannah State stands alone in second place.
After 18 holes on the Ryder Course in the Men’s Individual Division, Isaiah Shaw (73) of Fayetteville (N.C.) State rests atop the leaderboard. The junior from Altamonte Springs, Florida leads the University of Connecticut's Nabeel Khan (75) by two, and Corban (Ore.) University teammates Isaac Calderon and Devery Stewart (twin 74s) by three.
The PGA Minority Collegiate Championship is the most culturally significant championship in collegiate golf. In 2006, the PGA of America was granted complete ownership and management by the National Minority Collegiate Golf Scholarship Fund.