March 5, 2004
CORAL SPRINGS, FL - Loyola junior T.J. Shuart fired a two-day total score of three-under, 139 en route to recording the first individual win of his collegiate career and leading the Greyhounds to an astounding 35-stroke victory at their spring season-opening Fort Lauderdale Classic, which was held at the par-71 Grande Oaks Golf Club in Coral Springs, FL on Thursday and Friday.
Heading in to the final round with a comfortable team lead and a tie for the individual lead at even-par with teammate Will Shriver, Shuart, a consistent top-five tounament finisher for the Greyhounds over the past few years, scorched the Grand Oaks layout with a three-under, 68 to finally capture that elusive first collegiate win.
"It was a tremendous team effort both days," said Loyola Head Coach Tom Beidleman. "I'm very happy for T.J. that he got his first college victory. He's played a lot of great golf for many years so to finally see him get this first one, it's not only very rewarding for him, but for all of us."
Shriver finished the tournament at even-par (71-71=142), 2003 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) individual champ Jeff O'Brien notched a two-over performance (72-74=144), Tommy Villani shot 78-77 for a 155 and Scott Zielinski went 73-85 for a 158 as Loyola won its second consecutive team title, going back to the Temple-John McDonald Invitational, which was the Greyhounds' final fall event.
Loyola's Final Round score of 290 gave them a two-day total of 577, which put the Greyhounds ahead of Nova Southeastern (612), MAAC-rival Siena (615), Villanova (618), Gonzaga (622), and Loyola-Illinois (656).
"Winning back-to-back events is a great spring-board for us as we head into a very difficult spring season," said Beidleman.
Along with the two consecutive team wins, Loyola has recorded two second-place finishes and one third-place finish in just seven tournaments this year. Shuart's individual win is the third individual victory for a Greyhound this year as Shriver recorded wins in the fall at the season-opening Colgate Invitational and the John MacDonald Invitational.
The Greyhounds return to action Monday, March 22 for the first round of the two-day William and Mary Invitational at Kingsmill Country Club in Williamsburg, VA.