CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Six HBCU golf programs competed in the inaugural Charlie Sifford Centennial Cup on Monday at Quail Hollow Club.
The event featured Division II hosts Johnson C. Smith University, while Florida A&M, Alabama State, Howard and Texas Southern made up the four Division I programs to qualify via the Golfstat Ranking in May. Livingstone qualified as the top Division II HBCU program in 2021-22.
Players were split by school into two teams of 12 for nine-hole four-ball matches in the morning before 18-hole singles matches slated for the afternoon. One team was named for Charlie Sifford's son, Charlie Sifford Jr., and the other for Charlotte native James Black, a trailblazer for Black golfers with professional aspirations. The format followed Presidents Cup scoring and routing at Quail Hollow.
Team Charles Sifford Jr. won 12-6 over Team James Black.
The Presidents Cup announced the exhibition event in February, naming it for the late Sifford, a Charlotte native and the first African-American golfer on the PGA Tour, as part of a campaign honoring his legacy throughout the year. He would have been 100 on June 2. On Sunday, the TOUR announced a $25,000 contribution to the Dr. Charles L. Sifford Scholarship, which assists students attending HBCUs or minority students focusing their education on a golf management program. Additionally, the Presidents Cup announced a $25,000 donation to each of the program's participating in the event.
Quail Hollow will host the 2022 Presidents Cup from Sept. 20-25.
Here's what happened during Monday's action:
Morning Four-Ball Matches
Team Sifford took a 4-2 lead after the morning matches.
Team Black jumped out to an early advantage after TSU's Devansh Chadha and Howard's Joshua Siplin beat Livingstone's Joel Basalaine and Ronald Otile 3 & 1 in the first match of the morning. An eagle on the par-5 sixth hole put Chadha and Siplin in control, and after Basalaine and Otile bogeyed the eighth, a par was good enough to claim the win.
Team Sifford answered quickly though, taking five of the remaining six matches in the morning. Alabama State's Gonzalo Moreno and Miguel Ilas' match with JCSU's Dylan Mauricette and TSU's Ravepon Kosalutta went into the ninth hole all square, but Moreno and Ilas' par beat out their competitors' bogey to win 1-up and give Team Sifford Jr. the two-point cushion heading into the afternoon.
Afternoon Singles Matches
Team Black started strong again with Howard's Gregory Odom Jr. defeating Alabama State's Ty Roberts 5 & 4 in the first Singles matchup of the afternoon to cut the deficit to 4-3. Odom carded two eagles in the match and played the final four holes at 5-under-par, closing Roberts out with a birdie on the par-3 16th hole.
Ilas answered for Team Sifford, cruising to a dominant 7 & 6 victory against JCSU's Isaiah Nickerson and restoring the two-point lead. Both Ilas and Nickerson opened their rounds with three consecutive bogeys, but Ilas recovered with four birdies, including two straight after the 3-over start. He took the win after matching pars with Nickerson on the 12th hole.
Chadha's 3 & 2 win over Alabama State's Bishop Stringer pulled Team Black within one, cutting it to 5-4. Chadha was down one heading into the thirteenth hole before winning four straight, closing the match with a birdie on 16.
Team Sifford stormed back with four wins in a row, including a commanding 7 & 5 win for FAMU's Ayush Bodhale against JCSU's Isaiah Trollinger. Bodhale took three holes in a row to close out Trollinger on 13 with a par.
Howard's Everett Whitten Jr. stopped the skid for Team Black with a 7 & 5 win of his own over Livingstone's Emmanuel Jakisa, but it wasn't enough as Otile's 3 & 2 victory versus JCSU's Cameron Speights made it 10-5 for Team Sifford, sealing the overall win.
In all, Team Sifford prevailed 8-4 over Team Black in the afternoon Singles.
Additional reporting by the PGA Tour/Presidents Cup and NCAA.com.