Rattlers tame TPC Sawgrass to win PGA WORKS title


TPC Sawgrass has been the site of some incredible golf over the years, but one thing it is also known for is creating iconic moments that are cherished for decades later.

That is exactly what the stadium course and Dye’s Valley course did as both courses combined to host the 2024 PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship.

The event was put on by PGA REACH, which is the nonprofit foundation of the PGA of America and has become known over the years as the college championship that has one of the most culturally significant impacts, as it features golfers from historically black colleges, as well as Hispanic-serving institutions and any other minority-serving educational institutions and has done so since it began in 1986.

This year’s competition included an array of players from various backgrounds that took part in men’s, women’s and team and individual tournaments.

Florida A&M University represented its state well by dominating the competition en route to a victory in the division I team tournament with a score of 27-over.

It did not matter which course the Rattlers competed on, as they made it look easy on both, including shooting 13-over par on the stadium course and defeated second place Alabama State by 29 strokes.

The Rattlers had been regulars at the event over the years but what makes this year’s event even more special is that it was in their home state, and it broke a long winless drought at the championship.

“It’s been 24 years since we’ve won this event,” said Rattlers head coach Mike Rice. “I remember that because I was on the team that won the event in 2000. To bring this to these guys and for them to be able to enjoy this is amazing.”

Florida A&M senior Marcus Taylor played a major role in the success of the team and as a result clinched the men’s division I medalist honors thanks to a three-day score of two-over, including posting a 1-under-par 71 in the final round for a five-stroke victory.

“I’m really stoked with the win, as an individual and as a team,” said Taylor. “I didn't have much preparation coming into this, I was packed with academics, taking 19 credits this semester. Graduation was my main focus, so I had no expectations coming into this event, so yeah I’m excited.”

Taylor can now get back to focusing on his studies, but he does so as a champion in more ways than one.

Some of his memories from the event include making birdies in the final round at the famed “island green” on No. 17 at the stadium course and then following it up with one on No. 18.

“My birdie on 17, I stood over that ball on the tee and didn’t feel nervous to be honest with you, but when I got to the putt I thought ‘send me out the right way and make this putt,’” Taylor said. “I was really stoked about that. On 18, driver is the best club in my bag, and I absolutely laced it about 350 yards. I had 55 yards in.”

PGA of America, PGA WORKS Championship, golf