Texas-Pan Am, Bethune-Cookman win
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Texas-Pan American captain Kevin Kirakossian shot a 1-under 71 and the Broncs rallied for their fifth Men's Division I title Sunday in the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, while Bethune-Cookman won the Women's Division for the record ninth time.
Texas-Pan American, five strokes behind Tennessee State entering the day, finished at 40-over 904 at PGA Golf Club to edge Tennessee State by two shots. Bethune-Cookman and Savannah State tied for third at 911.
"My team has worked hard all year and it really paid off today," Texas-Pan American director of golf Ofelia Lopez said. "They came out with fire and determination and looking to win a title. And it happened.
"(Kirakossian) has always been our go-to guy. He plays to win and plays for his team. That's what a leader is all about. That's what being a team captain is all about."
Savannah State's Cedomir Ilic, from Serbia, closed with a 72 to take medalist honors at 5-over 220.
The Bethune-Cookman women's team finished at 52-over 916 for an eight-stroke victory over South Carolina State. The Wildcats also won the team title last year. Hampton was third at 956.
"We fought all year and it all led to this," Bethune-Cookman coach Scooter Clark said. "We needed to come out and respond to South Carolina State, who played great, and we did. It was no doubt a challenge."
Alliance's Tiana Jones was the medalist, shooting a 74 to finish at 8-over 224.
"I wanted to play smart but I also wanted to play aggressive," Jones said. "I was dreaming about winning the individual title last night and my heart was in my throat all day. It feels awesome."
In Division II, Fayetteville State ran away with the title, winning by 36 strokes at 32-under 896.
Fayetteville State's Jake Barge was the medalist, shooting a 70 to finish at 3-under 213.
"It was great for our team to get back in the winner's circle this year," Barge said. "We haven't won since 2009, so this is really satisfying. We got the job done."
Lincoln University was second.
Central Oklahoma's Justin Watkins won the Men's Independent Division, closing with a 78 to finish at 10-under 226.
"It wasn't exactly the way I wanted to finish but I was still able to close it out with a win," Watkins said. "I am exhausted mentally, but was still able to hold it together. It feels amazing."
In the Women's Independent Division, Ariel McNair of Xavier shot a 76 to win at 23-over 239.
"I made a couple of birdies on the back nine, which really propelled me to this win," Campbell said. "It was a grind all day, but was satisfying to finish strong like this."