This may well turn out to be one of the most gratifying seasons ever for HBCU golf. Opportunities for HBCU golfers are at an all-time high as the PGA Tour, PGA of America, APGA and PGA Works commit to growing the game.
With conference championships wrapping up, the end of year in HBCU golf is just heating up. With all of these outreach efforts aimed at growing the game of golf, this year’s post-season provides immeasurable opportunities for HBCU golfers to experience golf in professional settings that were simply unavailable before now.
Texas Southern takes men’s and women SWAC crowns
Texas Southern returned all of the hardware to Houston as the men’s and women’s teams bested the field at the SWAC Golf Championship on April 20, at the Refuge Golf Club in Flowood, MS.
On the ladies’ side, freshman Dili Sitanonth finished in first place and was named the Freshman of the Year and the Individual Low Medalist and the All-SWAC First Team. TSU’s Kennedi Lee finished as the runner-up. Alabama State placed second, Prairie View A&M placed third, and Bethune-Cookman finished in fourth place.
On the men’s side, another freshman, William O’Connor was named Freshman of the Year and made the All-SWAC First Team. Zane Brooks of Prairie View A&M’s reigning national champ ship team was the low Medalist as the only participant to finish under par through 54 holes. Brooks was named to the All-SWAC First Team. Alabama State’s Gonzalo Moreno finished as the runner-up medalist.
Howard Men earn first-ever MEAC title
Armed with the top golfer in HBCU golf Gregory Odom Jr., Howard University brought home the school’s first-ever MEAC Golf Championship. Odom was the low medalist shooting 12-over for the tournament with a 77 on the first day and a 72 on the second day. Par for the Argyle Country Club in Silver Spring, MD was 71. Odom’s round of 71 on the final day was the low round of the tournament at +1. Howard coach Sam Puryear was named the 2022 Most Outstanding Coach.
North Carolina Central finished in second place, 18 strokes behind the Bison. Maryland Eastern Shore took third place, just six strokes behind NCCU.
Livingstone, Spring Hill leaders in D2 HBCU golf
The CIAA and SIAC also crowned men’s golf champions. Livingstone College took home the CIAA crown, led by CIAA Golfer of The Year Xavier Proctor. Spring Hill College won the SIAC men’s golf title. Both will participate in the NCAA Division II Tournament next month.
Odom granted sponsor’s exemption to the Wells Fargo Championship
Fresh off of his medalist honors and aiding the Howard University team to their first-ever championship, Gregory Odom received an invitation to the 2022 Wells Fargo Championship and accepted it. Odom, who first came to national HBCU prominence by winning medalist honors at the 2021 PGA Works Collegiate Championship, has been on a steady ascension toward making a professional career in golf a reality.
The Wells Fargo Championship will be played at the TPC Potomac in the Washington, D.C. area.
HBCU Gameday will be on-site with exclusive coverage of the Wells Fargo Championship event. We will provide a hole-by-hole blog of Odom’s 18-hole trek in the opening round.
Charlie Sifford Cup event taking shape
On Aug. 29, the most prestigious event in the history of HBCU golf will take place at Quail Hollow Golf Club, a site known for hosting the U.S. Open on the PGA Tour. The Charlie Sifford Cup is an added event to the PGA Tour’s outreach efforts, and will put HBCU teams in a President’s Cup emulated event. The tournament will have the top four teams in NCAA Division-I and one Division-II team. The Charlie Sifford Cup rankings as of Apr. 20 are as follows:
1. Howard University
2. Florida A&M University
3. Alabama State University
4. Texas Southern University
1. Livingstone College
2. Miles College
3. Virginia Union University
PGA Reach Championship slated for May 2-5 in Philadelphia
While the PGA Reach Collegiate Championship (formerly PGA Works Collegiate Championship) has traditionally been held in the south, specifically in Florida, the tournament has headed north and will be played in Philadelphia, PA this year from May 2-5 at Union League Liberty Hill and The Union League Golf Club at Torresdale.
The reigning Division-I men’s champions Prairie View A&M will look to stave off the red hot Howard Bison. The championship is one of the premier events in HBCU golf and results in APGA Tour admittance for players who reach the top of the playing field. It also opens up opportunities to be in a pool for sponsor’s exemptions to PGA Tour events.
With the lack of women’s teams in the MEAC the Delaware State Hornets play golf in the Southland Conference. The Hornets finished third in last week’s conference championship and look to repeat as national champions at the PGA Works Collegiate Championship.