Methodist adds first PGA Jones Cup trophy to school's collection

Methodist adds first PGA Jones Cup trophy to school's collection

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Methodist adds first PGA Jones Cup trophy to school's collection

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There’s another layer to Methodist University’s golf programs. The Monarchs men’s and women’s teams, which compete on the NCAA Division III level, have won a total of 37 national titles. What might go overlooked is the strength of this school’s Professional Golf Management program.

This week, players on in that program teamed up to win the school’s first PGA Jones Cup title when they combined for a 25-over team score that left them 11 shots ahead of runners-up Penn State and Central Oklahoma.

Mississippi State and the event’s defending champion, Florida Gulf Coast, tied for fourth at 617. The 36-hole event was played on the Wanamaker Course at PGA Golf Club.

“We haven’t always played well down here historically, yet we had a different feeling about this group,” said Bob Bruns, the Director of Methodist’s PGA Golf Management Program. “They’re fun to be around, but they’re also talented and experienced.”

Three of the players on Methodist’s Jones Cup squad had previously played for the varsity men’s team (Larkin Gross, Lucas Spahl and Anthony Panepento), which last captured the national title in 2018.

“We went to dinner last night with a bunch of our PGM guys that graduated before us that are working in Jupiter. Some had played on previous PGA Jones Cup teams and they let us know that this was important,” said Gross, who logged a team-best 2-under 142 total that earned him individual medalist honors. “So, it feels really good to be able to accomplish this. We made a difference (on behalf of the program), which is really cool.”

Methodist’s title didn’t come easy, especially considering that some of the team’s chasers made a legitimate push on the back nine to catch them.

“At one point on the back 9, (defending champion) Florida Gulf Coast was right there, Penn State was within four shots and Central Oklahoma was in the mix all day,” said Bruns. “Earlier this morning, Maryland-Eastern Shore actually tied us. So our job as coaches was to keep our squad calm and get them settled in. To see them respond as they did made this even more gratifying.”

The PGA Jones Cup is named for the first PGA Golf Management University Program Director at Mississippi State, Dr. S. Roland Jones, who held the position from 1985 until his passing in 1997.

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