Alex Central's Gardner Takes High School Classic

Ben Gardner from Alexander Central fired a 35 on the back nine of the Tom Jackson Course to win the Greater Hickory High School Classic. Gardner is one of four area high school golfers to earn a spot on a team in Tuesday’s Dale Jarrett Shootout.

Fred T. Foard sophomore Christian Carpenter tied for second place one shot behind Gardner with a 36. Tyler Lail from Bunker Hill and Matthew Turner from Hickory High also shot 36 to tie for second place. Alexander Central’s Zack Burket tied for second place, but he lost a scorecard playoff after the end of the round.

The nine-hole Dale Jarrett Shootout is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Tuesday on the Robert Trent Jones Jr. Course at Rock Barn Golf and Spa. The complete results from the Greater Hickory High School Classic are below.

As if hitting a white ball around a rain-soaked course Monday wasn’t hard enough, two golfers needed extra holes to claim the final spot in the field for The Ensure Classic at Rock Barn presented by Kia Motors.

Lee Chill, from Windermere, Fla., and Steve Thomas, from Tupelo, Miss., tied for fourth in Monday’s qualifier tournament with a pair of 68s on the Tom Jackson Course at Rock Barn. Chill birdied the second playoff hole to earn the spot in the Ensure Classic.

Tom McKnight from Bluffton, S.C., shot a 66 in the miserable conditions to win the qualifier. Dave Rummells from Kissimmee, Fla., shot 67 and finished in a tie for second place with Michael Donald from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

The lowest scorer from North Carolina was Kannapolis’ Rick Lewallen, who shot an even-par 71.

Five golfers accepted sponsor’s exemptions to play in The Ensure Classic. The golfers are two-time major champion Sandy Lyle, Tom Byrum, Mark Carnevale, John Harris and Walter Hall.

Hall is from Clemmons and won the 2001 AT&T Canada Senior Championship and the 1997 Belfry PGA Seniors Championship on the European Senior Tour. Hall graduated from Maryland and is one of eight players in the field to graduate from an ACC school.

Lyle is the 12th major champion in The Ensure Classic’s field this year. He won the 1988 Masters and the 1985 British Open. He has 29 worldwide victories, including two titles at the Wyndham Championship played in Greensboro.

High School Classic results
1. Ben Gardner, Alex Central 35
T2. Christian Carpenter, Foard 36
T2. Tyler Lail, Bunker Hill 36
T2.  Matthew Turner, Hickory 36
*Zack Burket, Alex Central 36
Ben Dietrich, Concordia 37
JT Poston, Hickory 38
Kyle Clemmons, Patton 38
Thomas Lilly, Maiden, 38
Hayden Bandy, N-C 39
Ben Beason, Watauga 41
Grey Miller, Patton 42
Andrew Zachrich, St. Stephens 42
Matt Ellis, Maiden 43
Andrew Johnson, Lake Norman 43
Lucas Hernandez, N-C 44
Jake White, South Caldwell 44
Perry Davis, University Christian 45
Austin Peticca, Lake Norman 45
Isaac Church, Hickory Christian 47
Daniel Bellingham, Statesville 48
Mason Houston, St. Stephens 48
Colby Shull, South Caldwell 48
Connor Stinson, Fred T. Foard 48
Hunter Widner, North Iredell 49
Jeremy Buskirk, N-C 50
Cameron Justice, S. Iredell 50
Ben Dula, Hibriten 51
Dylan Cook, Watauga 52
Lendan Hoke, Freedom 53
Dexter Ly, Bandys 56
Boyce Noles, Bandys 56
Jake Kennedy, N. Iredell DNF
Matt Banks, Hibriten NC
Luke Brogdon, Lincolnton NC
Jordan Clontz, Freedom NC
J.R. Little, Lincolnton NC
Brian Morissette, Hickory Christian NC
Wilson Odom, Statesville NC

*Lost scorecard playoff
**NC — no card