PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Freshman Drew Owens claimed the individual honors as he helped the Tennessee State men’s golf team to come back on the final day of the 30th PGA Minority Collegiate Championship to grab share of the top score and force a playoff. Bethune-Cookman spoiled the celebration for the Tigers by winning the full team-playoff on the first hole of extra play. TSU shot a 16-over, 304, on Sunday to finish with a 907 for the Championship.
“Going into Sunday we were three shots back,” head coach Parrish McGrath said. “Todd McGill had the round of the day, but the shots of the day were from Rosario (Falzone) and Drew (Owens).”
Needing a par on 18, Owens hit his tee shot into the water. He carried his third shot over the water from 140 yards out to a foot of the flag for a tap in putt to save par.
Falzone avoided hitting into the water by a foot on 18. He followed by sticking his approach shot five feet above the hole.
“While (Falzone) was walking up to his second shot, (graduate assistant) James Stepp came and told me the team scores were tied,” said McGrath. “We didn’t want to put extra pressure on him and let him play it out. He was able to two-putt to send us into a playoff.”
Owens entered the day down by a stroke, but used 15 pars to card a 3-over, 75, to claim the individual title with a three-day 5-over, 221.
“This was super important for my confidence,” Owens stated. “It helps going into my summer tournament schedule, especially with how I've been playing lately. I needed a confidence boost and this was it.”
The first-year finished three strokes ahead of McGill and B-CU’s Connor O’Brien who finished at 8-over, 224.
“Drew played very solid all week,” McGrath commented. “He added a new putter which really suited his putting stroke giving him tremendous confidence. His wedge play was excellent as well. To have the low medalist is a great honor. I know he is already looking forward to next fall to tee it up again.”
McGill hit 13-of-14 greens and 10 fairways to make a last day charge for the second consecutive year. McGill shot an Even, 72, to jump three places in the standings. The junior opened the day by getting up-and-down from 20 yards out for his first birdie of the day. McGill had 72 yards in on No. 15 before hitting a wedge to four feet of the hole to make birdie.
Falzone shot a 6-over, 78, on the final day with the use of three birdies as he hit seven fairways and 10 greens. His success started on the par-5, 1st, by reaching the green in two and two-putted to start the day 1-under. Falzone earned two more score-cutters by hitting approach shots to three feet and two feet of the flag on No. 9 and No. 11, respectively.
Jermey Fultz posted the final scoring round with a 7-over, 79, to place ninth on the week with a 231.
Sam Gatlin finished 19th in the field of 35 with a three-day, 239. The freshman found seven greens and nine fairways as he carded a 9-over, 81. Gatlin made an eight foot putt on the par-3, 11th, after hitting an 8-iron to the green from 160 yards out.
1 Drew Owens – 71-75-75=221
2 Todd McGill – 74-78-72=224
9 Jermey Fultz – 75-77-79=231
16 Rosario Falzone – 75-83-78=236
19 Sam Gatlin – 80-78-81=239
T1. *Bethune-Cookman University – 296-304-307=907
T1. Tennessee State University – 295-308-304=907
3. Savannah State University – 314-318-308=940
4. North Carolina Central University – 331-314-306=951
5. Florida A&M University – 322-325-312=959
6. University of Maryland - Eastern Shore – 317-326-326=969
7. Chicago State University – 333-328-329=990
* - Won on first playoff hole