Watkins returns in pursuit of second straight title in independent division

Justin Watkins
Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America
Justin Watkins is looking to improve on his winning score from last year, a 54-hole total of 10-over 226.
Randy Stutzman
The PGA of America

Series: PGA

Published: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 | 5:26 p.m.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - It's a busy life for an aspiring PGA Professional, as Justin Watkins can attest.

But Watkins, a PGA Golf Management University student at the University of Central Oklahoma, and the defending Men's Independent Division Champion at the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship presented by Brown Capital Management, likes the pace.


To return to the home page of the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, click here.

Watkins, the defending Men's Independent Division Champion, is looking to improve on his 54-hole total of 10-over-par 226 in 2012. 

"It's a pretty busy time in my life, between playing golf when the weather is decent, my normal school work, my PGA work and my part-time job," said Watkins, who is currently enrolled in Level 2 of the PGA Golf University Management program. "But I do enjoy it. I love the game and learning about the business of golf, too."

The Oklahoma native will be making his second trip to PGA Golf Club, May 10-12, for the 2013 PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship presented by Brown Capital Management. 

Watkins is coming off of a two-stroke victory over Aaron Burton of Adelphi University, and is looking to improve on his 54-hole total of 10-over-par 226 in 2012.

"I am really looking forward to getting down there and competing," said Watkins. "I want to play better and try and win this again."

He also knows that the Wanamaker Course will provide a stern test of golf for all of the competitors in his division.

"It is a tough golf course and can be mentally draining," said Watkins. "I just want to play well and have a great time."

Watkins and three other division champions will be looking to defend their titles in the 27th edition of this National Championship. The University of Texas-Pan American (Division I Men's), Bethune-Cookman University (Women's Division) and Fayettville State University (Division II Men's) will all return to PGA Golf Club in 2013.

Bethune-Cookman University's women's team will be seeking their Championship-record ninth title, Fayetteville State University their eighth division victory, and Texas-Pan American their sixth men's Division 1 title.

The 2013 Championship will feature nearly 200 participants, who will compete on the Tom Fazio-designed Ryder and Wanamaker Courses. The 54-hole, stroke-play event will consist of three team divisions — NCAA Men's Division I and II, and a Women's Division. 

In addition to the team competition, the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship features a men's and women's Individual Invitational that is open to collegiate golfers who are African-American, Hispanic-American, Native or Alaskan American, Asian or Pacific Island American.

About the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship presented by Brown Capital Management 
The PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship presented by Brown Capital Management originated in November 1986 following the Jackson State University Golf Tournament and has elevated golf in minority colleges and universities by providing opportunities to more players to compete in a national championship.

The 1986 organizational meeting brought together a significant group of founders: the late Dr. Herschel Cochrane; Dr. Joe D. Saunders of the National Negro Golf Association; Jackson State University Golf Coach Eddie Payton; 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 provide a national stage for players from minority colleges and universities after being denied opportunities to compete in NCAA Collegiate golf events. 

The inaugural Championship was conducted in the spring of 1987 at Highland Park Golf Course in Cleveland, Ohio. Since 1998, PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla., has been host to 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.

In 1990, a Career Fair was conducted for the first time in conjunction with the national Championship to provide corporate sponsors the opportunity to interview and recruit outstanding college students for future employment. As a result, the Career Fair has developed into an invaluable resource to assist students in gaining internships and full-time positions within the golf industry. 

In 2008, the Championship featured a record number of participants, with nearly 200 students from 47 schools, with representatives from 14 countries.

In 2011, The PGA of America announced that Brown Capital Management, an investment management firm based in Baltimore, Md., had become the presenting sponsor of the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship and the one-hour Golf Channel Highlight Show.