Fayetteville State’s Juan Lopez records medalist honors
RICHMOND, Va. (Oct. 24, 2023) – Livingstone College rallied to claim the team title at the River City Collegiate Classic, posting the low team score in the second round to win by a single shot over Fayetteville State. Competing at historic Belmont Golf Course on Tuesday, Fayetteville State’s Juan Lopez earned the medalist title by a single shot at 1-over par total.
Denis Asaba led three Livingstone players in the top 10 of the event, posting a 1-over 75 at Belmont after firing a 75 in Monday’s first round at The Country Club of Virginia. Asaba’s eagle on No. 16 proved to be the difference-maker on the team leaderboard, helping Livingstone hold off Fayetteville State by a single stroke. The Blue Bears were five shots clear of Fayetteville on the day as they leapt from third to first on the leaderboard.
Asaba was joined by teammates Ibrahim Aliga (75-78=153), who tied for fifth, and Christopher Baguma (79-79=158) in the top 10 of the field.
After playing the same layout as the PGA TOUR Champions did during the Dominion Energy Charity Classic at The Country Club of Virginia in Monday’s first round, competitors tackled the restored Belmont layout on Tuesday. Student-athletes competed on holes 1-12 of the championship course, with holes 1-6 replayed to build a 6,865-yard, par-74 course.
Lopez posted the low round of the day on his way to the individual title, recording an even-par 74 at Belmont. After going out in 1-over 38, Lopez was steady on the back nine, collecting a single birdie on the 14th hole to go with eight pars in collecting his first collegiate tournament title. In Monday’s first round, Lopez recorded a 3-over 75 and entered Tuesday’s final round tied for third.
Logan Atkins (75-79=154) took seventh on the leaderboard, while Shaun Wixon (76-83=159) tied for ninth to put three Broncos on the top 10 of the leaderboard.
Travon Willis (74-78=152) paced defending RCCC champion Virginia Union, tying for third with Virginia State’s David Chavez (76-76=152). Alkin Barkley, the 2022 River City Collegiate medalist, tied for fifth in this year’s edition. Barkley was the overnight leader after a first round 71 at CCV but was undone by a 10 at the par 4 14th hole.
Brady Wood (78-81=159) tied for ninth, putting three VUU players in the top 10 as the Panthers finished third on the team leaderboard, five shots behind Livingstone.
Led by Chavez, Virginia State was fourth, holding off Johnson C. Smith University by four shots. Winston-Salem State took sixth, while St. Augustine’s had three players compete as individuals.
In addition to medalist honors, Lopez collected All-Tournament Team accolades, alongside the Livingstone duo of Asaba and Aliga. VUU’s Willis and Barkley also made the team, as well as VSU’s Chavez.
The team title was the second in as many weeks for Livingstone, which took first at the SAS HBCU Invitational in Cary, N.C., last week.
All seven programs at the inaugural River City Collegiate Classic represented historically black colleges and universities from the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). The tournament came together as a partnership between First Tee – Greater Richmond, the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, and the Country Club of Virginia.
2023 River City Collegiate Classic All-Tournament Team
Ibrahim Aliga, Livingstone College
Denis Asaba, Livingstone College
Alkin Barkley, Virginia Union University
David Chavez, Virginia State University
Juan Lopez, Fayetteville State (medalist)
Travon Willis, Virginia Union University
About First Tee – Greater Richmond
First Tee – Greater Richmond is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization whose mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values, and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. Through three major programming focuses – the First Tee Program, the First Tee School Program, and collaborative community partnerships – First Tee – Greater Richmond reached more than 97,000 youth in 2021.