Keeping up with ... UMES' Tiana Jones

  • Friday, May 22, 2015

    Tiana Jones @ the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf ChampionshipsPRINCESS ANNE, MD- (May 22, 2015) - Tiana Jones had an impactful first year as a PGA Golf Management student at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.   

    She was a dean's list student and performed equally well on the golf course, winning a PGA-sponsored tournament in early May.   

    The victory was her third at the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, and her second in the Women's Individual Invitational division. She also was the medalist in team play in 2012 playing for S.C. State University. This year, Jones carded a 7-over-par, 54-hole 223 in a come-from-behind victory over a sibling of two former teammates at S.C. State. 

    Jones, 23, is no longer eligible for NCAA competition, but as a golf management student in good standing she can participate in collegiate events sponsored by the PGA.   

    Her goal after earning her UMES degree is to play professionally on the LPGA tour, she told tournament organizers after her recent win.   

    "I … also want to own my own academy and build my own golf course - and give back to the community," she said. "I want to see more African-Americans in golf."    

    Jones led a team of fellow UMES golf management students in November 2014 to a third-place finish in a team competition exclusively for the 19 institutions that offer PGA Golf Management. It was UMES' best finish in the event, ironically known as the "Jones Cup."   

    Her reputation as a golfer with steadily improving skills and scores has not gone unnoticed. The Golf Channel plans to broadcast a feature story in early July about the 2015 PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, and Jones is expected to appear in that segment.   

    The Alliance, Ohio native remembers being exposed to the game as a preschooler who developed a knack for playing well as she grew older.   

    After earning a criminal justice degree with honors in 2014 from S.C. State, she headed north to UMES to burnish her resume with a second degree - in golf management.   

    The UMES curriculum, Jones said, has opened her eyes about "the business of golf."   

    "I would go to a tournament and take it for granted," she said. "I didn't understand how much went into making the event happen. I understand it better now. I'm more appreciative of what it takes."   

    Tiana Jones accepts the 2015 winner's trophy from Anthony StepneyBeing part of an academic program with other students who have the same interests and skills also "motivates me on a personal level," Jones said. "I've gotten a lot of insight from my peers and my mentor."   

    "Just by listening to my instructors talk about the industry, it has helped me understand the golf business as a whole more than I did before,” she said.   

    And, by being a PGA Golf Management student at UMES, “I've made great connections,” she said.   

    This summer, she'll spend three months at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, Colo. as an intern. When she attended the PGA Merchandise Show this past winter, she spoke with Broadmoor golf course officials, who invited her to go west to help her fulfill a degree requirement of working in a professional setting.   

    She'll be joined at the Broadmoor Resort by senior Kijontray McClay, junior Stephen Fitzgerald  and freshman Blair Waters, all fellow PGA Golf Management students at UMES.   

    “I'm really grateful for the opportunities UMES has provided me,” Jones said. “I know I made the right decision coming here.”   

    Bill Robinson, director, Office of Public Relations, (410) 621-2355