PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.–Campbell University turned in an impressive opening-round 1-under-par 287 Tuesday at PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course to grab the first-round lead in the 11th PGA Jones Cup presented by Golf Pride.
The Fighting Camels hold an eight-stroke lead over New Mexico State University, which totaled a 295. The University of Central Oklahoma stands in third at 299; while Defending Champion North Carolina State University is tied for fourth with Coastal Carolina University at 304; and Mississippi State is sixth at 305.
“The team feels pretty good, but we realize that 18 more holes are a lot, especially if the winds kick back up again,” said Ken Jones, PGA, director of the PGA Golf Management University Program at Campbell University. “We know that eight shots is not an insurmountable lead, but if we beat everyone in our group, we’ll be just fine.”
In the face of 15-mph winds, Jared Morrow, of Charlotte, led the Camels, collecting seven birdies on his way to the overall low score of the round, a 3-under-par 69. Meanwhile, teammate Ryan Wolff carded a 2-under-par 70 to help pace the attack.
Morrow is excited about the opportunity his team has to win its third PGA Jones Cup title in the last six years.
“I played a good round of golf in tough conditions out there today,” said Morrow, 22, a senior at Campbell. “I didn’t play well last year and made it a point to work my tail off this year, and it really paid off today. This was one of the best rounds of golf I played without a doubt. We just need to play another round of good team golf tomorrow and see what happens.”
Rounding out the top 10 were the University of Idaho in seventh at 307; Florida Gulf Coast University is in eight at 309; the University of Nevada-Las Vegas is ninth at 310; and Methodist University in 10th at 311.
Ryan Christensen, of Guam, is playing in his first PGA Jones Cup presented by Golf Pride for New Mexico State, which is within range of putting in a strong bid for the title tomorrow, as the Lobos stand in second place entering the final round. Christensen learned of the PGA Golf Management University Program just this past summer when he attended the school’s introductory “Summer Experience” program. Christensen turned in a round of 4-over-par 76 Tuesday, in the face of blustery conditions.
The two females in the field of 100 players, Florida State University students Chelsea Mokary, of Lake Worth, Fla., and Lauren Himebaugh, of nearby Palm City, Fla., were challenged by the windy conditions, as they carded scores of 86 and 87 respectively. The Seminoles stand in 15th place at 317.
“I’m excited to compete and set the stage for women to play in the PGA Jones Cup in the future,” said Himebaugh, 20, a junior in FSU’s PGA Golf Management University Program, who was the sole female in last year’s event.
The 36-hole event, featuring all 20 schools in the PGA Golf Management University program, includes the top five players from each University.
The event brings together teams from 16 states, who are competing at PGA Golf Club for the fifth consecutive year.
The PGA Jones Cup presented by Golf Pride is named for the first PGA Golf Management University Program Director at Mississippi State University, Dr. S. Roland Jones, who held the position from 1985, until his passing in 1997.
The event serves to provide a platform where participants can display professionalism, integrity, character and camaraderie; all characteristics Dr. Jones instilled in PGA Golf Management students.
All participating universities in the PGA Jones Cup presented by Golf Pride are schools accredited by The PGA of America to offer the four-and-one half to five-year PGA Golf Management University Program for aspiring PGA Professionals. The college curriculum provides extensive classroom studies, internship experience and player development, and provides students the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills to succeed in the golf industry as a PGA Professional.
Students in the PGA Golf Management University Program study a combination of golf and business-related subjects, as well as serve a minimum of 16 months in on-course internships within the golf industry.
PGA Jones Cup Past Champions
2011 North Carolina State University
2010 Mississippi State University
2009 Campbell University
2008 University of Idaho
2007 Campbell University
2006 New Mexico State University
2005 Coastal Carolina University
2004 Coastal Carolina University
2003 Mississippi State University
2002 Mississippi State University