By Pat Kravitz
PGA of America
PGA Golf Club is situated roughly 140 miles from Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). By no means is the Wanamaker Course considered to be the home track of the Eagles. But with three returning players, they could’ve fooled anyone.
FGCU trekked across the Florida peninsula and cruised to a 14-stroke victory over Clemson University in the 2018 PGA Jones Cup. With a total tally of 590, the win is the first in FGCU PGA Golf Management program history. Following a couple close finishes in 2016 (2nd) and 2017 (4th) where FGCU’s combined deficit was 10 strokes, they sealed the deal in convincing fashion.
“This is really exciting, but to do it in the style they did today was special,” said Marty Hall, Assistant Director for FGCU’s PGA Golf Management program. “To have all five players clicking at the same time was awesome. This creates a lot of excitement about making the team. I think there will be a lot of competition amongst our 160 students to try and repeat next year.”
The margin of victory was the largest since 2012, when Campbell University defeated runner-up New Mexico State by 17. Wednesday’s results also marked the first time since 2013 (Ferris State) that a PGA Golf Management program not from Campbell or New Mexico State hoisted the Jones Cup.
The veteran of the squad after competing in 2016 and 2017, Alex Holt finished with a two-day total of 147 (73-74). Playing in their second consecutive PGA Jones Cup were Cameron Fady and Eric Costa, who posted a 146 (73-73) and 148 (78-70). Darin DeLelys and Reece Kornfeld rounded out the five-person team.
“I don’t know that it’s hit us yet – what we just accomplished,” said Holt. “Obviously we’re excited and happy to represent our school. My teammates are really good. They can get hot and go low if the putters are working.”
Runner-up Clemson University (604) was led by Chris Gabriele, who shared medalist honors after carding a 70 and 72 for a two-day score of 142. Campbell University’s Shea Wolfle shot a 75 in the first round but charged up the leaderboard with a second-round 67 to match Gabriele’s total.
The University of Colorado-Colorado Springs finished alone in third place (605), followed by Campbell University and New Mexico State University, who tied for fourth with 611.
The PGA Jones Cup is named for the first PGA Golf Management University Program Director at Mississippi State, Dr. S. Roland Jones, who held the position from 1985 until his passing in 1997. The event provides 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 are schools accredited by the PGA of America to offer the PGA Golf Management University Program for aspiring PGA Professionals. There are currently over 1,700 students enrolled in the program nationwide.
The 2019 PGA Jones Cup will be contested November 19-20 at PGA Golf Club.
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