PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Texas-Pan American took a seven-stroke lead Friday in the first round of the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, while Bethune-Cookman opened a 19-shot advantage in the women's competition.
Santiago Bueno, from Mexico, led Texas-Pan American with an even-par 72 in windy conditions on PGA Golf Club's Wanamaker Course, and Kevin Kirakossian, from Tualatin, Ore., had a 73. The Broncs had a 6-over 294 total. Alabama State was second, followed by Tennessee State at 302.
"The wind made it very difficult today, but I managed to finish very strong and help the team," Bueno said. "This is my last college tournament, so I want to bring home a title and finish well."
Kirakossian, a member of the 2010 championship squad, overcame a bogey on the par-5 first hole.
"I definitely didn't start the round like I wanted. You are supposed to birdie the par 5s out here," Kirakossian said. "But I was able to steady myself after that and finish well for the team."
The Bethune-Cookman women's team had a 305 total on the Ryder Course. Patrizia Trevisan, a freshman from Austria, opened with a 72.
"I had a rough start with two opening bogeys, but I recovered and am really happy with how I finished," Trevisan said. "This tournament is so important and we want to win the title badly."
South Carolina State was second, and defending champion Texas-Pan American was tied for third with Hampton at 329.
In Division II, Fayetteville State finished at 300 to take a 13-stroke lead over Lincoln University. Brandon Jobe, from Fayetteville, N.C., led the Broncos with a 71, and Jake Barge, also from Fayetteville, N.C., had a 72.
"The wind was just unbelievable and you had to hit fairways and greens in regulation to post a good score," Barge said. "I was really satisfied with my round and got the most out of what was a difficult day."
In the Men's Independent Division, Justin Watkins of Central Oklahoma and Chris Davis of Carroll University, shared the lead at 74.
"It was extremely windy out there today and I spent the whole day really grinding to shoot a good score," Watkins said. "Birdies were hard to come by, and I had three, and overall I am happy with how I performed."
In the Women's Independent Division, Mia Campbell of Alabama State topped the field with an 83.