Wind plays huge factor in first round of PGA Minority Championship

Kevin Kirakossian
Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America
Texas-Pan American owns the men's Division I lead, thanks in part to sophomore Kevin Kirakossian, who led the Broncs with a 72 on the Ryder Course.
Randy Stutzman, The PGA of America


Published: Friday, May 06, 2011 | 7:00 p.m.

Low scores were at a premium on Friday, as strong winds played a huge role in the opening round of the 25th PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship presented by Brown Capital Management.

With winds gusting up to 25 miles per hour, only three players broke par on the Ryder and Wanamaker Courses at PGA Golf Club -- Texas Southern sophomore Dominique Worthern, Alabama State junior Scott Benson and North Carolina Central Braden Cox. Worthern and Benson shot a 2-under-par 70 while Cox shot a 71 on the Ryder Course.
"I am extremely happy with how I played today under these really tough conditions," said Worthern. "When the wind is howling, you have to concentrate on making good swings and having good tempo. I was able to do that for the most part today."
The University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, holds a slim first-round lead in the women's division, leading Hampton (Va.) University by three strokes. Defending champion Bethune-Cookman University is in third place, 12 strokes off the pace.

2011 PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship

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The Broncs were led by Elena Arroyo of Sacramento, Calif., who fired an opening-round 76.

"Our whole team knows that they can go lower, but we are happy to be where we are after the first round of play in this great event," said Arroyo, a sophomore. "This team is my family away from home and we are playing for each other every time we go out."

Texas-Pan American and Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla., are tied for the Division I Men's lead following the opening round, three strokes ahead of Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas.

Texas Pan-American sophomore Kevin Kirakossian led the Broncs with a 72 on the Ryder Course.

"I made a whole lot of pars out there today and it was pretty uneventful overall," said Kirakossian, playing in his second Championship. The highlight of Kirakossian's round came at the par-5 sixth hole, where he holed a 35-foot putt for an eagle.

In Division II, Virginia State University in Petersburg, Va., jumped out to a three-stroke lead over Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo.

"This is a huge tournament for us and we are happy to be sitting in first place in a very tough division," said Chris Wood, who led the Trojans with a 77. "We have to play better because there are too many good teams. We have to keep our cool."

Defending champion Morehouse College in Atlanta is in third place overall, four strokes back of Virginia State.

The Women's and Men's Independent Divisions, which annually showcases a talented group of international players, got off to a great start on Friday as well.
Men's defending champion and University of Central Florida senior Amit Odaiyar of Ocala, Fla., grabbed the early lead, while Airielle Dawson of Towson College and Cecilia Rezk of Northwood Univeristy lead in the women's division.
Odaiyar, a native of Bangledesh, used four birdies en route to a 72 on the Ryder Course, good for a three-stroke lead.
"It was a grind out there today with the wind howling the whole round," said Odaiyar, playing in his fourth Championship. "I know that I can go lower if the wind dies down a bit, and if not, I will continue to pick my spots and take advantage where I can."
The 25th edition of the championship features nearly 160 players representing 40 colleges and universities. The 54-hole championship concludes Sunday.

First-Round Scores:

Men's Team Division I
T1. Bethune-Cookman  +12 300

Rafael Abad  76
Emmanuel Petrich 80
JaMichael Jones  77
Alexander Clapp  75
Matthew McKnight 72

T1. Texas-Pan America  +12 300
Kevin Kirakossian 72
Santiago Bragado 75
Walker Barrett  82
Aaron Gonzalez  77
Jonathan Sloss  76

3. Texas Southern  +15 303
Dominique Worthern 70
Michael Calvillo 85
Jason Barton  73
Andrew Hutchinson 75
Quinton Leonard  86

4. Tennessee State  +19 307
Richard Gill  82
Ryan Smith  75
Andrew Warner  73
Ryan Pierson  82
Cameron Scitern  77

5. Alabama State  +19 307
John Montgomery  77
Scott Benson  70
Corey Price  86
Joseph Morrison  83
Joseph Killebrew 77

6. Savannah State  +20 308
Cedomir Ilic  77
Ryan Lassiter  75
Tripp Bragg  80
Pete Teifer  NC
Andy Atkins  76

7. Maryland-Eastern Shore  +22 310
Mike Veverka  76
Greg Raad  78
Kijontray McClay 84
Paul Cecil  75
Christopher Toney 81

8. Florida A&M  +23 311
Wesley Yates  77
Shephard Archie III 74
Randon Holt  81
Elijah Jackson  85
Cody Sapp  79

9. North Carolina Central  +28 316
Spencer Jones  81
Braden Cox  71
Andre Jones  78
Gavin Thompson  91
Walter Batts  86

10. Prairie View A&M  +56 344
Michael Bradham  75
Joseph Daly  83
Stephen Faggard  92
Avery Campbell  94
William Brown  95

11. Alabama A&M  +67 355
Bradley Story  75
Corey Battle  118
William Miller, III 95
Cody Calvert  90
Shea Balch  95

Men's Team Division II
1. Virginia State  +27 315

Stephen Genchi  78
Stuart Larus  82
Brian Wood  77
Mike Swope  87
Rashad Hunt  78

2. Lincoln University  +30 318
Steven Mallow  83
Kyle Brands  77
Jacob Sandbothe  78
Kyle Brennaman  80
Eric Kosmatka  83

3. Morehouse  +31 319
Olajuwon Ajanaku  78
Bryan McElderry  83
Thaddaeus Hill  80
Earl Cooper  83
Bruce Cousin  78

4. Fayetteville State  +34 322
William McClure  81
Antonio Mayo  96
Lincoln Jackson  77
Michael Wallace  91
John Cole  73

5. Winston-Salem State  +40 328
Glendon Mabe  81
Zachary Sheets  79
James Draper  89
Devin Cherry  85
Jordan Lamb  83

6. Benedict  +50 338
Anthony Wik  80
Jordan Buchannan 79
Eddie Smith, III 91
Miles Goldman  88

Women's Team Division
1. Texas-Pan American  +26 310

Haley Hocott 77
Maria Camey 80
Samantha Garcia 81
Melinda Uriegas 77
Elena Arroyo 76

2. Hampton  +28 312
Kayla Williams 73
Nicole West 79
Dionne West 79
Iman Ellis 81
Sydnee Mack 85

3. Bethune-Cookman  +38 322
Kimberly Wong 74
Vanessa Adarme 77
Marie Bergelin 84
Miranda Rose 87
Maxine Gardner 90

4. South Carolina State  +47 331
Honesty Biggers 81
Marina Terry 85
Tiana Jones 81
Cabriel Duren 84
Allison Brown 104

5. Lincoln  +70 354
Kaitlyn Scwartze 83
Kimberly Whitworth 90
Shea Colley 83
Hannah Sprague 98

Men's Independent Division
Amit Odaiyar, Central Florida  72
Lawrence McKenzie, Livingstone  75
Dustin Bertrand, McNeese State  76
Ryan Cancino, New Mexico State  76
Christian Heavans, Georgetown  77
Juan Fernandez, Louisburg  77
Josh Boyd, Virginia State  78
Julio Galvan, Louisburg  78
Allen Kelley, New Mexico State  79
Bryan Odaiyar, Brevard  79
Ronnie Fultz, III, Hampden-Sydney  79
Michael Thornton, Livingstone  80
Christopher Davis, Hofstra  81
Curtis Fearrington, Hampton  81
Ralph Godbee, II, Paine  81
Jacob Mendez, CC of St. Joseph  83
Malcolm Parrish, Morehouse  83
Anthony Long, UMES  85
Javier Lopez, Hampton  85
Jarrell Parrish, Bethune-Cookman  86
Geoffrey Napper, Hampton  87
Michael Asbury, Winston-Salem State  88
Minsoo Soh, UMES  88
Ben Davis, CC of St. Joseph  90
Joseph Journey, UMES  92
Richard Sheppard, UMES  93
Ivan Monigan, Virginia State  98
Julavlis Teasley, Livingstone  103

Women's Independent Division
Airielle Dawson, Towson  75
Cecilia Rezk, Northwood  75
Valerie Kitamori, Pacific  77
Shanequa Valentine, Prairie View A&M  80
Peni Sajoto, Prairie View A&M  82
Emily Kwak, Towson  83
Ariel McNair, Xavier  84
Alexandria Killingsworth, Prairie View A&M  86
Christina Walker, CSUEB  86
Maria Stewart, Hampton  86
Whitney Young, Wheeling Jesuit  86
Annamae Adderley, UMES  88
Eugenie Adderley, UMES  89
Alexandra Uduk, UMES  90
Gabrielle Peete, South Carolina State 111