This week, 39 players from around the country gathered at the renowned King & Bear golf course with the APGA Tour to compete in two days of games, where a prize of $7,500 was awarded to the young winner.
The APGA organization, which stands for The Advocates Professional Golf Association, was established in 2008 by a group of motivated individuals striving to include more diversity in the world of golf. They aim to develop and nurture the next generations of minority college and professional golf players by leading developmental programs with free clinics, mentors, equipment and complimentary entry fees for young golfers. APGA partners with inner city youth organizations in different cities to introduce both boys and girls to the game, while also sponsoring Diversity Symposiums, where leaders of the minority golf community gather to discuss ways to best diversify the sport.
“It is really a passion of all of ours,” said Cole Smith, executive director of the APGA Tour and member of the board of directors, noting that most employees for the APGA are volunteers.
Former Alabama A&M Men’s Golf team star Rovonta Young shot 31 on the back nine en route to a final round 66 to capture the APGA Tour at World Golf Village win. The 26-year-old passed 14 players to finish the 36 holes at four under par (74-66-140) and win his first APGA Tour title in his fourth year on the circuit.
Willie Mack, number one ranked in the APGA Collegiate Ranking and 2019 APGA Tour Player of the Year, ended up in 10th place at one-over. The top two amateurs were Florida A&M teammates Mulbe Dillard and Mahindra Lutchman, the number 1- and number 3-ranked players in the APGA Collegiate Ranking of the best Black golfers in America. Dillard shot the third best round of the day, a three-under 69, to finish at even par and tied for seventh.
“The APGA Tour is providing a great opportunity for HBCU players like me by providing greater access,” said Rovonta Young in a press release. Young, a California native, caught fire on the par-5 13th hole with a 15-yard eagle chip from just off the green. He then took a one-shot lead over White into the final hole and sank a 12-footer for birdie to secure the victory.
The APGA Tour heads to Las Vegas next for a three-day competition, where they will then continue another four games at golf courses around the country. Now in its 12th year, the APGA Tour is working to bring greater diversity to the sport of golf.