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FGCU Golf Programs Host 3rd Annual Ben Adams Memorial Scholarship Event
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University men’s and women’s golf teams will host the third annual Ben Adams Memorial Scholarship Fund Eagle Scramble Pro-Am on Monday, December 10, 2007. The event, which is being held at Miromar Lakes Beach Golf Club in Fort Myers, Fla., will feature instruction from FGCU’s head coach Dr. Jim Suttie and PGA golf greats Paul Azinger and John Daly.
The Ben Adams Memorial Scholarship fund has been established to make a contribution to young men and women who enjoy the spirit of competition and life’s lessons learned from it. The scholarship is setup to help student-athletes become outstanding members of our society as they fully utilize the education that they receive. Ben Adams, one of eight children, was born and raised in Iowa. His lifelong love for golf began as a high school player and stayed with him through his adult life. Ben enlisted in the Army and served his country in the Vietnam War. After his service, Adams attended the University of Iowa where he earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. While in college, he met his wife and lifetime companion Janet. Ben and Janet were later blessed with two children, Jason and Michelle.
Adams spent his professional career in the field of banking and finance in Chicago, New York, and Detroit. He also served as the CEO for the Antigua Group. It was during Ben’s time with Antigua that he and his very good friend and local PGA mentor, Ron Howell, took a big interest in Florida Gulf Coast University and the Eagles golf program. Adams and Howell started an Antigua Program supporting both the men’s and women’s golf programs which is still in place at FGCU today. Ben often commented to friends and business associates that he was very impressed by the academic achievements of the FGCU student-athletes and how he someday wanted to establish a scholarship fund to recognize quality academic achievement. Ben passed away suddenly on June 2, 2005 before realizing that dream. Fortunately Ben’s dream has been achieved thanks to a combination of: Jim Lewis, the Geometry Group, Paul Azinger, the Southwest Florida PGA pros, Miromar Lakes Golf Club, and 125 other local contributors.
Dr. Jim Suttie is in his eighth season as the head men’s golf coach at Florida Gulf Coast University. Suttie, who serves as the director of Dr. Jim Suttie’s Training Centers at the Club at Twin Eagles in Naples and at Cog Hill Country Club in Lemont, Illinois, is considered one of the top golf instructors in the nation. An educational consultant to the National Golf Foundation, Dr. Suttie was honored as the 2000 National PGA Teacher of the Year and ranked No. 12 on Golf Digest’s 2004 list of America’s 50 Greatest Teachers. Also, he has been seen frequently on the Golf Channel and conducts numerous seminars for the PGA.
Paul Azinger, a resident of Bradenton, Fla. has been a professional golfer for twenty five years. The four time U.S. Ryder Cup and President’s Cup team member has won 12 PGA Tour Championships in his career. Dr. Suttie coached Azinger while he was attending Brevard Community College in Cocoa Beach, Fla. Azinger and the other professionals donate their time and instruction to the Pro-Am because of their close personal relationship to Dr. Suttie and their commitment to supporting a successful golf program at FGCU.
FGCU had announced that longtime supporter Mark Lye would be able to participate in the event. Unfortunately, Lye had a previous engagement scheduled and the FGCU athletic department would like to apologize to Lye for announcing he would be present before confirming with him and to fans who anticipated the longtime supporter to the Ben Adams Memorial Scholarship Fund to return this year.
In addition to Azinger, the event will feature Chip Beck, John Daly, Robert Gamez, George McNeill, Loren Roberts and Mark Wilson. Beck is has participated in over 600 PGA Tour events and won four PGA TOUR events in a career that has span nearly 30 years. Daly was named PGA Tour rookie of the Year in 1991 after winning the PGA Championship. He captured the British Open Championship in 1995 and has won three other Tour events during his career. Gamez joined the PGA Tour in 1990 and won rookie of the Year honors after winning a pair of tournaments that year. McNeill, a native of Naples, Fla., is currently a rookie on the PGA Tour and recently won his first event, the Frys.com Open. Roberts turned pro in 1975 and currently is on the Champions Tour where he is the Charles Schwab Points leader. Roberts has participated in over 600 tour events and has posted eight Tour wins during his career. Wilson, a member of the PGA Tour since 2003 won his first Tour event earlier this year.
For additional information, please contact Butch Perchan at 239-590-7030 or J.P. Meyer at 239-590-7005.