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Third Annual Ben Adams Memorial Scholarship Event Proved to be a Success
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Florida Gulf Coast University men’s and women’s golf teams hosted the third annual Ben Adams Memorial Scholarship Fund Eagle Scramble Pro-Am on Monday, December 10, 2007. The event, which was held at Miromar Lakes Beach Golf Club in Fort Myers, Fla., featured instruction from FGCU’s head coach Dr. Jim Suttie and PGA golf greats Paul Azinger and John Daly.
“Having this many people, especially the professionals, take time out of their busy schedules to come out and support Dr. Suttie and the university has just been fantastic,” said FGCU assistant golf coach J.P. Meyer. “This has been our greatest event thus far, as far as our fundraising efforts are concerned. Miromar and everyone who has donated to the program have been terrific.”
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.
“I’m happy to support this tournament because it supports the golf program,” said Paul Azinger. “I feel that at the college level if you’re afforded the opportunity to come to a school like FGCU and get the kind of instruction that you will get from the Coach Suttie, I think it’s a tremendous advantage for a young person because it gives them every opportunity to become a part of professional golf, whether that be as a player or just getting into the business in general.”
In addition to Azinger, the event featured Chip Beck, John Daly, Robert Gamez, George McNeill, Loren Roberts and Mark Wilson.
“I’ve known Dr. Suttie since 1992, and he’s basically the guy that put me on the tour,” said Loren Roberts. “He got me in the “Winner’s Circle” out here, so anytime that I can give back to him and the kids at FGCU I’m going to be there.”
John Daly entertains the crowd by hitting a golf ball off the top of his soda can.
Coach Suttie gives advice during the golf clinic.