Saturday, May 12, 2012

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) - 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. Jedidiah Frazier led the Broncos with a 71, and Jake Barge 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.

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