Campbell collects unprecedented fifth PGA Jones Cup Title

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Campbell University collected its unprecedented fifth national title in the 16th PGA Jones Cup, holding off two-time defending champion New Mexico State by four strokes.

No other PGA Professional Golf Management university has won four titles.

The team — comprised of students studying within the Campbell Business PGA Golf Management program — posted a 36-hole 591 total score. New Mexico State (595), Coastal Carolina University (597), Florida Gulf Coast University (598), University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (605) and Sam Houston State University (605) rounded out the Top 5.

“It was a battle of perseverance,” said Campbell Business PGM Director Ken Jones to “Going in and out of two rain delays, I knew it would be tough. In the end, we hung on.” Jones is in his 20th season at Campbell, which is one of 18 accredited schools in the nation with a PGM program (and only one of two private universities). 

Fifth-year senior Kyle Akins, who shot a 1-under-par 143, and senior Ian Illig, who closed with a 71, led the squad. Rounding out Campbell’s group were sophomore Luke Polland (77-149), and seniors Brian Jones (78-155) and Ben Schlesman (80-155).

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.

“Winning here is huge. It’s what we came down here to do,” said Illig to “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.”

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

Accredited by the PGA of America in 1999, Campbell’s PGM program is housed in the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business. In addition to their undergraduate business degrees, PGM students at Campbell can receive an MBA as part of an innovative 4+1 curriculum model. All participating universities and colleges in the PGA Jones Cup are accredited, with more than 1,800 students currently enrolled in programs nationwide. 

The PGA Jones Cup was started in 2002 by Mississippi State University and is named in honor of Dr. S. Roland Jones. The event annually provides a platform for participants to display professionalism, integrity, character and camaraderie.