PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – The Tennessee State men’s golf team got off to a strong start at the 30th PGA Minority Collegiate Championship. The Tigers entered the clubhouse with the lead after shooting a 7-over, 295, on the PGA Golf Club Par-72, 6,840 yard, Wanamaker Course.
TSU received solid play throughout the lineup as all four scoring golfers are in the top five of the individual leader board. The Tigers success helped provide a one stroke lead over second place Bethune-Cookman and a 19 stroke advantage over third place Florida A&M.
Freshman Drew Owens used seven birdies on Friday to card a career low 1-under, 71. Owens shares the individual lead with Joel Ramirez of B-CU as they head into the second day of the three-day event.
After a second place finish in 2015, Todd McGill returned to fire a 2-over, 74. The opening round performance has McGill tied with B-CUs Jackson Kneeshaw for third. The senior picked up back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16 to pace his day. McGill used a wedge to three feet of the cup for his first score-cutter and used a 3-iron to reach the green on the following hole, two-putting for birdie.
Jermey Fultz and Rosario Falzone are in a three-way tie for fifth after shooting a 3-over, 75, on Friday. Fultz hit seven greens on the day and closed out the front nine and began the backside with back-to-back birdies on No. 9 and 10. His wedge play was instrumental in the two one-under’s as he he knocked to four feet of the hole on No. 9 hit and setup a 15 foot putt on 10.
Falzone hit 11-of-14 fairways and 12 greens to score for the Tigers. The freshman’s putting was on during round one as he hit 20-foot putts on No. 2, No, 4 and No. 7 for birdies and converted on shorter putts on No. 8 and 10 to give him five birdies on Friday.
Sam Gatlin opened the day reaching the green in two on the par-5, 1st, and two putted to record a birdie on his way to an 8-over, 80.
The Tigers will begin play on No. 10 on day two and will be paired with Bethune-Cookman and Chicago State. Owens will head out first with a tee time of 8:20am ET. McGill will follow at 8:30am, ahead of Fultz at 8:40am, Falzone at 8:50am and Gatlin at 9:00am.
1. Drew Owens -- 71
3. Todd McGill -- 74
5. Jermey Fultz -- 75
Rosario Falzone -- 75
19. Sam Gatlin -- 80
1. Tennessee State University -- 295
2. Bethune-Cookman University -- 296
3. Savannah State University -- 314
4. University of Maryland - Eastern Shore -- 317
5. Florida A&M University -- 322
6. North Carolina Central University -- 331
7. Chicago State University -- 333