Ward, Knights Post Impressive Finish in Gainesville

Feb. 15, 2009

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF junior Simon Ward (County Monaghan, Ireland) tied for first in the individual standings, leading the 24th-ranked Knights to a third-place showing at the SunTrust Gator Invitational Sunday. UCF (846, +6) recorded an even-par 280 in the third round at the Mark Bostick Golf Course.

Ward, who carded a 3-under 67 Sunday and finished the tournament at 205 (-5), concluded the event tied with Toby Ragland and Billy Horschel of host Florida. Ragland won medalist honors with a birdie on the seventh hole over Horschel. Ward was eliminated from the playoff when the pair of Gators made birdie on the third playoff hole.

The event included 10 squads ranked in the top-50 nationally. UCF entered the final round of the 14-team tournament in fifth after 36 holes Saturday. Florida, ranked 14th nationally, claimed the tournament title at 824 (-16). Ole Miss (842, +2) placed second.

Ward was one of two Knights who posted top-10 finishes as freshman Blayne Barber (Lake City, Fla.) tied for ninth (209, -1). Barber also recorded a 3-under 67 on the final 18.

UCF finished the event one stroke ahead of Florida State and two strokes ahead of No. 25 Duke. The tournament was the first of the spring campaign for the Knights.

Redshirt freshman Brad Schneider (Valrico, Fla.) tied for 50th with an 8-over 218. Senior David Johnson (Palm Bay, Fla.) and sophomore Jed Dirksen (Hampton, Iowa) tied for 55th (219, +9). Competing as an individual, junior Mike Stern (Miami, Fla.) tied for 62nd at 221 (+11).

The Knights will return to action Feb. 23, hosting the two-day Rio Pinar Invitational in Orlando.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Final Team Leaders
1. Florida 298-276-279=824 (-16)
2. Ole Miss 274-281-287=842 (+2)
3. UCF 281-285-280=846 (+6)
4. Florida State 288-282-277=847 (+7)
5. Duke 279-284-285=848 (+8)

Final UCF Individuals
T1. Simon Ward 68-70-67=205 (-5)
T9. Blayne Barber 71-71-67=209 (-1)
T50. Brad Schneider 74-71-73=218 (+8)
T55. David Johnson 72-74-73=219 (+9)
T55. Jed Dirksen 70-73-76=219 (+9)
T62. Mike Stern (I) 70-76-75=221 (+11)