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Presidents Cup donates $25,000 to 6 HBCU golf programs, including JCSU

The teams participated in the Centennial Charlie Sifford Cup at Quail Hollow Club on Monday.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Presidents Cup made a $25,000 donation to all six HBCU golf programs that participated in Monday's Charlie Sifford Centennial Cup.

"It's tremendous; that far exceeds our total budget," JCSU coach William Watkins said. "I'm going to take part of that money to finish the endowed scholarship. We could possibly end up traveling further distances. Sky's nearly the limit on that and we're very grateful."

The other participating programs were Howard University, Florida A&M University, Alabama State University, Texas Southern University and Livingstone College.

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The tournament honors the legacy of Charlotte's own Charlie Sifford, the first Black golfer to hold membership on the PGA Tour. 

"He was just one of those guys you look up to," Howard golfer Greg Odom Jr., said. "In the game of golf, you have your founding fathers. He was one of our founding fathers."

Texas Southern coach Willie Shankle had several connections to Sifford, who won two PGA Tour events.

"Unbelievable history," Shankle said. "The love that he had for the game, it really opened a lot of doors. We appreciate it."

For these players, the Sifford Cup also represented an opportunity to play on one of the best golf courses in the United States.

That includes Howard's Odom, the top HBCU player in the country who recently made his PGA Tour debut on a sponsor exemption at the Wells Fargo Championship, which was held in Maryland this year.

"It doesn't get any better than that," Odom said. "Just being around great people. We're all just here to compete and to win. This is nothing but a dream."

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Team Charles Sifford Jr., defeated Team James Black, 12-6 in the cup, which consisted of four-ball events and singles matches.

Team Sifford consisted of Livingstone, Alabama State and Florida A&M.

The Presidents Cup will be played in late September, and 550,000 square feet of build-out is nearly finished.

"It's going to be a busy next three or four weeks, we've come a long way," Executive Director Adam Sperling said. "I don't think there's a corner of this property that isn't going to be activated in some way to make sure the fans coming out here have the ideal experience."

Contact Nick Carboni at ncarboni@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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