Ben Gardner took second place at the Big Red Classic, the first top-10 finish of his career.
March 14, 2004
Ocala, FL - Ben Gardner finished with a career low three-day score of 216 to place second overall at the Big Red Classic hosted by Austin Peay State University. Gardner's great day was not enough to help the Owls, as the team dropped seven spots from the previous day to finish ninth overall on the 6,625-yard, par 72 course. Torstein Nevestad finished his second consecutive tournament in the top-25.
Gardner, a freshman from Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, fired a one-over par 73 on the final day of the tournament, securing the highest finish of his career. His previous three-day low score was 222 at the ECU Pirate Classic in October 2003. Nevestad, the leader after the first two rounds, shot a third round 85 to finish tied for 23rd individually. Michael Cleary ended his second tournament of the year in the top-30 with a three-round total of 228. Anibal Ochoa and Tommy Suri finished with three-day totals of 248 and 250, respectively, while newcomer Phil Koch shot a 252.
Even though Florida Atlantic shot a tournament worst round of 321 on the final day, the team still combined to shoot its third lowest score, 907, of the year. Methodist College swept the honors for the day with the team and Adam Horton taking first place. Host Austin Peay State (891), Bowling Green State (893), Ohio University (898) and Marquette University (898) round out the top-five in the 15-team tournament.
FAU returns to action on Saturday, March 20 at the El Diablo Intercollegiate in Citrus Springs, FL.
Ben Gardner (71-72-73-216/2nd)
Torstein Nevestad (72-69-85-226/T-23rd)
Michael Cleary (76-72-80-228/T-29th)
Anibal Ochoa (81-77-90-248/89th)
Tommy Suri (82-85-83-250/91st)
Phil Koch (77-85-90-252/93rd)