Campbell University Captures Fifth PGA Jones Cup Title

By Bob Denney
PGA of America

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Whoever was responsible for nicknaming the Campbell University athletic teams of Buies Creek, North Carolina, was a visionary.

Campbell’s Camels plodded their way over soggy PGA Golf Club to reach their long-awaited oasis of an unprecedented fifth national title in the 16th PGA Jones Cup.

Led by fifth-year senior Kyle Akins of Chesapeake, Virginia, who earned medalist honors at 1-under-par 143, and senior Ian Illig of Homer City, Pennsylvania, who closed with a 71, the Camels finished with a 36-hole total of 591. It was enough to hold off two-time defending champion New Mexico State (595).

Coastal Carolina University was third (597); followed by Florida Gulf Coast University (598), and University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and Sam Houston State University sharing fifth (605).

“It was a battle of perseverance,” said PGA Professional Ken Jones, in his 20th season as Campbell’s Professional Golf Management Director. “Going in and out of two rain delays, I knew it would be tough. In the end, we hung on.”

The “Drive for Five” was Jones’ season-long theme as he hosted weekend Tournament Series in Buies Creek to challenge his team. In the end, Camels had the right quintet to journey to Port St. Lucie and tack on the fifth crown to those earned in 2007, ’09, ’12 and ’14. No other PGA Professional Golf Management University has won four.

“Winning here is huge. It’s what we came down here to do,” said Illig. “We wanted to prove we were the best in the country. It’s our national championship, our Ryder Cup, yeah, it all fits. We talk about it a lot, and you definitely have to play well to make the team.”

Due to the intermittent rain soaking the Wanamaker Course, preferred lies were in force over 36 holes. It was a luxury, Jones said, unless your ball missed the fairway. “Then, you had mud on the ball and had to really work hard for par. Our guys played well, and so did New Mexico State. We just got it going on the back nine.”

Illig finished 2-under-par on the back nine, while Akins held his round together by scrambling on the difficult par-3 17th hole. He drilled home a 25-footer for par after missing the green to the right.

“It feels awesome, and to be here with a great group of guys,” said Akins of his championship debut. “I started out hot, made a few mental mistakes and then got myself together on the back nine.”

Rounding out Campbell’s quintet were sophomore Luke Polland of Minneapolis (77-149); and seniors Brian Jones of Chesterfield, Virginia (78-155); and Ben Schlesman of East Douglas, Massachusetts (80-155).

New Mexico State’s Aggies, who had rallied the past two years, but found a six-stroke deficit to start the day insurmountable. Senior Cole Lorenz of Billings, Montana, who had an opening-round 69 in his fourth consecutive Jones Cup appearance, struggled in with a 77.

“I’m proud of the guys,” said Aggies PGA Professional Golf Management Program Specialist Josh Salmon. “It’s tough to swallow. You don’t want the streak to end. It was tough conditions today and Campbell played well. It’s tough to not win, but you got to keep your heads high.”

All participating universities in the PGA Jones Cup are schools accredited by the PGA of America to offer the PGA Golf Management University Program for aspiring PGA Professionals. There are currently more than 1,800 students enrolled in the program nationwide.

The PGA Jones Cup began in 2002 by Mississippi State University, and was named for the first PGA Golf Management University Program Director at the university, Dr. S. Roland Jones, who served from 1985 until his passing in 1997. The event annually provides a platform for participants to display professionalism, integrity, character and camaraderie; all characteristics Dr. Jones instilled in PGA Golf Management students.

1 Campbell University 293-298—591
2 New Mexico State 299-296—595
3 Coastal Carolina University 300-297—597
4 Florida Gulf Coast University 301-297—598
T5 U of Colorado Colorado Springs 306-299—605
T5 Houston State University 300-305—605
7 University of Nebraska Lincoln 300-310—610
8 University of Central Oklahoma 307-305—612
9 Penn State University 315-299—614
10 Mississippi State University 309-309—618
11 Ferris State University 315-306—621
T12 Clemson University 320-304—624
T12 U of Maryland Eastern Shore 314-310—624
14 Eastern Kentucky University 314-313—627
15 Methodist University 311-317—628
16 University of Nevada Las Vegas 317-318—635
17 NC State University 329-312—641
18 University of Idaho 331-324—655
19 Florida State University 329-334—663
PGA Jones Cup Individual Results
1 Kyle Akins Campbell University 71-72—143
2 Kramer Samuelson University of Nebraska Lincoln 73-71—144
T3 Tristin Goodwin New Mexico State University 74-72—146
T3 Cole Lorenz New Mexico State University 69-77—146
T3 Marko Lloyd Sam Houston State University 75-71—146
T3 Ian Illig Campbell University 75-71—146
7 Michael Dodson Florida Gulf Coast University 74-73—147
T8 Avery Veitel Coastal Carolina University 74-74—148
T8 Joseph Santullo Coastal Carolina University 74-74—148
T10 Luke Polland Campbell University 72-77—149
T10 Dylan Rowe Sam Houston State University 73-76—149
T10 Nick Michas U of Colorado-Colorado Springs 75-74—149
T10 Eric Costa Florida Gulf Coast University 76-73—149
T10 William Veith U of Colorado-Colorado Springs 76-73—149
T10 Tyler Siech Ferris State University 78-71—149
T16 Alex Holt Florida Gulf Coast University 76-74—150
T16 Zachary Taylor Coastal Carolina University 78-72—150
T16 Bryce Young U of Maryland Eastern Shore 76-74—150
T16 Christopher North Penn State University 75-75—150
T20 Josh Elder New Mexico State University 78-73—151
T20 Jacob Hedberg Coastal Carolina University 74-77—151
T20 Jake Warner University of Central Oklahoma 77-74—151
T20 Zach Bostic Clemson University 76-75—151
T24 Kyle Murray University of Nebraska Lincoln 75-77—152
T24 Peyton Knell University of Central Oklahoma 77-75—152
T24 Austin Barr Mississippi State University 75-77—152
T24 Brock Dowdy Mississippi State University 77-75—152
T24 Jonathan Solimano Penn State University 78-74—152
T29 Aaron Hart University of Nebraska Lincoln 72-81—153
T29 Hamish Gardner New Mexico State University 78-75—153
T29 Austin Krewson University of Central Oklahoma 74-79—153
T29 Cameron Fady Florida Gulf Coast University 76-77—153
T29 Jackson Collier Methodist University 75-78—153
T29 Zachary McNeil Eastern Kentucky University 76-77—153
T35 Jesse Campbell Sam Houston State University 76-78—154
T35 Timothy Pearce Ferris State University 78-76—154
T35 Gabriel Rivera Penn State University 81-73—154
T38 Ben Schlesman Campbell University 75-80—155
T38 Brian Jones Campbell University 77-78—155
T38 Dane Martinson New Mexico State University 79-76—155
T38 Bradley Myers U of Colorado Colorado Springs 79-76—155
T38 Blair Waters U of Maryland Eastern Shore 76-79—155
T38 Grant Gardiner Methodist University 77-78—155
T38 Elliot Shin Clemson University 78-77—155
T38 Nathan Pajutee University of Nevada Las Vegas 75-80—155
T38 Nic Brown NC State University 79-76—155
T47 Spencer Dillard Sam Houston State University 76-80—156
T47 Zachary Najarian Florida Gulf Coast University 75-81—156
T47 Jayden Bruun U of Colorado Colorado Springs 76-80—156
T47 Jake Lackey University of Central Oklahoma 79-77—156
T47 Keifer Clary Mississippi State University 79-77—156
T52 Dennis Scholl U of Colorado Colorado Springs 81-76—157
T52 Robert Wolfers Eastern Kentucky University 79-78—157
T52 Tanner Manser University of Nevada Las Vegas 78-79—157
T52 Nathan Desens Clemson University 83-74—157
T56 Nathan Bratcher Eastern Kentucky University 80-78—158
T56 Benjamin Raff Penn State University 81-77—158
T56 Austin Cook NC State University 84-74—158
T59 Hayden Austin Mississippi State University 79-80—159
T59 Cameron Chhim Mississippi State University 78-81—159
T59 Mark LaMeer Ferris State University 77-82—159
T62 Gunnar Riley Methodist University 77-83—160
T62 Tiana Jones U of Maryland Eastern Shore 79-81—160
T62 Tyler McElroy U of Maryland Eastern Shore 84-76—160
T62 Chris Cobler University of Idaho 78-82—160
T62 Jared Robinson NC State University 82-78—160
T67 Cordell Weber University of Nebraska Lincoln 80-82—162
T67 Madison Erskine Eastern Kentucky University 79-83—162
T67 Jake Trotta Methodist University 82-80—162
T67 Wesley Foskey Clemson University 83-79—162
T67 Tyler Smith Ferris State University 82-80—162
T67 Kyle Koehler Ferris State University 83-79—162
T67 Jack O'Brien Clemson University 84-78—162
T67 Tanner Crisofulli University of Idaho 83-79—162
T67 Austin LeFave University of Idaho 85-77—162
T76 Zach Sachen University of Nebraska Lincoln 82-81—163
T76 Adam Patronik Methodist University 82-81—163
T76 Shane Henrion Florida State University 76-87—163
T79 Matt Black Sam Houston State University 84-80—164
T79 Junghoon Lee University of Nevada Las Vegas 85-79—164
T81 Andy Hewitt U of Maryland Eastern Shore 83-82—165
T81 Austin Snow University of Nevada Las Vegas 85-80—165
T83 Samuel Martini Penn State University 83-83—166
T83 Zachary Brown Florida State University 82-84—166
T85 Philip Webb Eastern Kentucky University 87-80—167
T85 James Boyd Florida State University 86-81—167
T85 Andrew Blatnik Florida State University 85-82—167
88 Patrick Mosher NC State University 84-84—168
89 Brody Mayberry University of Central Oklahoma 85-85—170
90 Cayden Field University of Idaho 85-86—171
91 Darren Ingram University of Nevada Las Vegas 79-93—172
92 Nicholas Taskalos Coastal Carolina University 89-84—173
93 Jake Haynes NC State University 88-87—175
94 Michael Goins Florida State University 91-88—179
95 Emillio Rodriquez University of Idaho 93-95—188