PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship
Lucie Charbonnier & Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Lead After First Round of the 2023 PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship Presented by Chase Sapphire
May 9, 2023
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (May 8, 2023) – The road to a repeat has been as smooth as a tightly manicured Alabama fairway for Lucie Charbonnier.
The junior from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was the low medalist for women’s Division I at last year’s PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship (PWCC) presented by Chase Sapphire. And through the first round of the 2023 edition, Charbonnier is in sweet position to do it again while possibly leading the Islanders to a third consecutive team championship after putting up a first-round, 4-under-par 67 at Bent Brook Golf Course on Monday.
Charbonnier, a French native, had just one hiccup with a bogey on the par-4 13th. Aside from that, she made five birdies to finish day one with a three-shot lead over Venezuelan teammate Lucia Ramirez.
“I was really putting my ball in play all the time,” Charbonnier said. “I was doing some very good chips so I could have easy opportunities for my birdie putts. I almost had a bogey free round.”
Corpus Christi had four players in the top seven spots of the leaderboard, and five in the top 14, to end the first round with the Division I team lead at 1-under 283. Howard University sits in second place at 7 over, with three players – Kendall Jackson, Morgan Horrell and Kyra Cox – all tied for third place at 1 over par.
“It’s an awesome round. We had I think maybe eight birdies and an eagle on the back nine,” Corpus Christi coach Pat Stephens said. “Kind of sputtered a little bit starting out. The girls got their feet under them and started hitting some good shots. It was wonderful to see.”
In the women’s Individual Division at Shoal Creek Club, Charlotte teammates Kaiyuree Moodley, who earned All-Conference USA honors last week, and Pin Hsuan Chen are 1 under and 2 over par, respectively. Allycia Gan of North Alabama is also 2 over.
On the Division I men’s side at Shoal Creek, Howard University, in its third year as a program, is seeking its second consecutive PWCC team title. The Bison are off to a great start with a 10-shot lead over second-place North Carolina A&T after posting a first-round 281 to finish seven under par.
Senior Everett Whiten Jr. led the way for Howard with a 3-under 69, including an eagle on the 11th hole when he drained a 50-footer. Whiten made a double bogey on 13, but followed that with three straight birdies on holes 15-17. Some of that momentum was stalled on 18 as he finished with another double to fall two back of the leader, Chicago State’s Kieran Hogarth.
“It was an unfortunate finish,” Whiten Jr. said. “I just didn’t trust myself coming down to the end. I wasn’t committing. I had a nice stretch going there with those three birdies. I feel good, and this course is gettable if you put it in the right positions.”
Whiten’s teammate, Greg Odom Jr., who is the two-time defending low medalist, made eagle on 17 to finish with a 1-under 71.
“I have faith in these guys [as a team]. This course sets up good for us,” Whiten Jr. said. “We had a good practice round coming in, and I know if we stick to the plan, trust the process, I think we’ll be in good position the rest of the tournament.”
Hogarth had an up and down front nine, going out in one over par. But he stormed the back side with birdies on five of the final six holes, shooting 6 under to finish with a 5-under 67.
“I started a bit slow. I wasn’t really finding the center of the club face and I was struggling to hit the greens,” said Hogarth, who is from England. “But I got some momentum going. I made a birdie on nine to get me going, and I kind of lit it up on the back. I played very well.”
He wasn’t the only one. Louisville senior C.M. Mixon shot a bogey-free 67 to finish 5 under, two shots clear of second-place Jzeke Dukes of Greensboro and three shots ahead of Purdue’s Kentaro Nanayama and Delaware’s Sahasawat Ariyachatvakin, who won the Individual Division last year.
In men’s Division II, Kentucky State got out to the early lead with a 3-under 281, led by Micah Stangebye’s 4-under 67, which leads the low medalist race by a shot over Savannah State’s Korbin Allen.
For more information on the 2023 PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship, visit https://pgaworkscollegiate.org/.