This past weekend was victorious for Bethune-Cookman University at the 33rd PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship at PGA Golf Club.
The women of BCU won their eighth consecutive Division I title, by 52 shots, on the Ryder Course, while the men’s teams at Bethune-Cookman, California State-Dominguez Hills and Houston-Victoria effortlessly defended their titles for the fourth straight time in Division I, Division II and NAIA, respectively.
The men’s team at Bethune-Cookman University won its fourth consecutive title, shooting a 3-under to move 21 shots ahead of Florida A&M on the Wanamaker Course when play was stopped due to lightning. The play was called about an hour later, with the scores reverting to 36 holes, when Bethune-Cookman led FAMU by four shots. Men’s Division I was the only score to be shortened by the rain.
The favorites in the four major divisions lived up to their hype, especially the Bethune-Cookman women. They shot 9-over as a team on a difficult course and have won this event 11 times.
“They played phenomenal,” coach Danny Forshay said. “The fun part is seeing where they started nine months ago to where they are now.
“We’re not really playing against other people; we’re playing against ourselves, to be the best we can be. This is the icing on the cake.”
The Wildcats were led by Yudika Rodriguez, who was a medalist at 8-under 208, after a 72. She won by six shots over teammate Caitlyn Evans-Brand (67-210) for her fifth victory of her senior year.
“This means a lot to me,” said an emotional Rodriguez. “I’ve been trying to win this tournament since I was a freshman. My plan is to probably turn pro and see if I can make a living doing this.”
Forshay saw the Bethune-Cookman men’s team struggle to a first-round tie, but they took a four-shot lead Saturday and quickly settled the issue Sunday morning when they completed the second round before the storm rolled in.
“We had a rough first day Friday, but we didn’t freak out,” Forshay said of his men’s team. “We knew we just had a bad day. We just settled in and do what we do.”
The PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship (formerly the PGA Minority Collegiate Championship) is the most culturally diverse competition in sports. It’s not always just about who shot the lowest score.