PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (May 12, 2018) – The University of Houston-Victoria, which began its golf program in 2010, is doing its best to make up for lost time, as their men’s team leads the NAIA Division in the 32nd PGA Minority Collegiate Championship, which is being contested on the Wanamaker and Ryder Courses at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
As well as Houston-Victoria (45-hole team total of 774) are playing, it leads second-place Governors State University (778) by four shots, the Jaguars play second fiddle to Mother Nature, who is having her say on the weekend proceedings on Florida’s Treasure Coast.
With rain in the forecast for Sunday’s final round, the PGA of America Rules Committee decided late Friday to play 27 holes today, thus leaving the final 9 holes of the PGA Minority Collegiate Championship scheduled for Sunday, May 13.
That made for a longer-than-anticipated Saturday of golf for 169 student-athletes representing 36 colleges and universities.
Houston-Victoria has thrice won NAIA titles in the PGA Minority Collegiate Championship – all since 2014 – and if they can hold off Governors State on Sunday, they’ll step past Johnson & Wales University for the most titles in the 13-year history of the division.
As narrow as Houston-Victoria’s NAIA lead is, the gap is greater in Division II, where California State University-Dominguez Hills erased Friday’s four-shot deficit to surge ahead of Lincoln (Mo.) University. Twenty-seven holes of strong play on the Wanamaker Course Saturday, sparked by junior Andrew Banuelos’ second-round 72, gave Cal State-Dominguez Hills a comfortable 13-shot spread.
Cal State-Dominguez Hills (2016, ’17) and Lincoln (2013, ’14) are dueling heavyweights, as the two schools have combined to win four of the last five Division II titles at the PGA Minority Collegiate Championship.
Bethune-Cookman’s women and men lead their respective team divisions, which is of little surprise considering the Wildcats golf program has tallied 22 team titles at the PGA Minority Collegiate Championship (13 for the women, 9 for the men). To more appear to be on the horizon.
Junior Yudika Rodriguez’s 73 in the second round paved the way for the women of Bethune-Cookman (751), who hold a sizable 31-stroke lead over the University of the Incarnate Word (782) after 45 holes on the Ryder Course in the Women’s Team Division.
Likewise, in Men’s Division I, sophomores Christian Hovstadius (second-round 69) and Marcus Sundlof (second-round 70) lifted B-CU’s men (708) to a generous 45-hole lead over Savannah State University (761) and Incarnate Word (762) on the Wanamaker Course.
In Men’s Individual play on the Ryder Course, Nabeel Khan, a junior at the University of Connecticut, will ride a 2-shot lead into Sunday’s final 9 holes after posting a 70 in Saturday’s second round. Corban (Ore.) University’s Devery Stewart is Khan’s closest competitor. Stewart’s second-round 68 that was the low round in two days of Men’s Individual play.
Linda Wang, a sophomore from St. John’s (N.Y.) University, boosted her lead in the Women’s Individual Division to six shots after playing 45 holes on PGA Golf Club’s Ryder Course. Wang’s 72 on Friday and second-round 73 today are the two lowest rounds in the division. Rachel Orme (151) of Savannah State is in second place after finishing off a 77 in Saturday’ssecond round.
Among the four team divisions, the following players are 45-hole leaders and will be vying for medalist honors enteringSunday’s final 9 holes: Division I/Marcus Sundlof (Sophomore, Bethune-Cookman), 7-shot lead at 170; Division II/Sergio Escalante (Virginia Union University), 5-shot lead at 183; NAIA/Matt Contey (Senior, Governors State University), 9-shot lead at 184; Women’s Team/Mackenzie Butzer (Senior, Bethune-Cookman), one-shot lead at 181.
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.