Tennessee State Captures Title at 23rd PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship
Port St. Lucie, Fla. - Tennessee State University men's golf team made a furious comeback in the final round to capture the Division I men's title at the 23rd PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship.
Tennessee State made up ten-strokes on the final day, with three of their five players firing under-par rounds. Chris Seibel fired a final round one-under par 71, birdied the 17th hole and saved par on No. 18 to seal the victory. Seibel finished shooting three-under par 216 (70-72-71).
The Tigers won the division by one-stroke over defending champion Bethune-Cookman University. The University of Texas-Pan American finished in third place overall.
"We had a feeling it would be close and could feel the tension building the whole day," said Seibel, a junior. "Our team is young and has been struggling all year but we came out and played well and can not wait to come back next year."
Head Coach Chip Taylor, a PGA Professional, knew his team would have to be aggressive all day.
"We had a rough start, really," said Taylor, who is in his third year with the program. "I knew going into the final round there was going to be some pressure but I told them go out and play their game. They finished very strong."
Taylor understood how close the competition was heading into the final few holes.
"I knew our team was either one ahead or tied, and we just happened to be one ahead," said Taylor. "I do not see why our team, which is so young, can not come out again and do this again next year."
Ryan Smith led the Tigers shooting four-under par 216 (70-73-69) shooting two under in the first and three-under par in the final round. Richard Gill finished one-over par (217) after shooting three under in the opening round.
Freshmen Dorian Vauls and Christopher McKay shot their best golf of the season to help the Tigers. Vauls entered the final round 12 over but bounced back shooting three-under par (69) finishing at nine over. Chris McKay shot his best round this season in the second with a two-under par but finished 21 strokes over.