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Sanders Wins SFPGA Section Professional Championship
BY CRAIG DOLCH
Special to South Florida PGA
NAPLES (Sept. 27, 2018) – It was quite a start and an even better finish Thursday for Kyle Sanders. It added up to an 8-under 64 and an unlikely victory in the South Florida PGA Professional Championship.
Sanders started the day five shots out of the lead – his tee time was almost an hour before the final group – but the Jupiter resident quickly moved into contention with four birdies on his first five holes on the South Course at The Club at Mediterra.
After nine consecutive pars, Sanders eagled the par-5 15th when he holed a wedge from 91 yards and birdied the last two holes to claim the victory. Sanders finished a shot ahead of Naples’ Justin McCarraher, who birdied the last hole for a 68.
“I wasn’t thinking about winning, that’s for sure; I just wanted to qualify for the national PGA Championship,” said Sanders, a 32-year-old sales representative for Fairway & Greene.
“I wasn’t expecting that finish. Any time you shoot a 64, you have to have things go your way. This is by far the biggest win of my career.”
Andrew Filbert, who started the round tied for the lead with Mike Valicenti, shot a 71 and finished tied for third with Justin Bertsch (71) at 9-under. Filbert’s consolation was he won his second consecutive Player of the Year Award in the South Florida PGA.
“That was one of my goals this week, to repeat, but my main goal was to win the Section Championship,” said Filbert, who recently became Assistant PGA Professional at Royal Poinciana Golf Club in Naples. “I just didn’t hit it close enough. I didn’t give myself enough opportunities.”
Alan Morin (70-208) was alone in fifth, a shot ahead of Nick Marcoaldi (69-209). Also among the top 12 finishers who earned spots in next year’s PGA Professional Championship at Belfair (S.C.) were Brett McCurdy (70-210), Danny Heaslip (72-210), Adam Scrimenti (73-210) and Valicenti (74-210).
Adam Miller (70-211) and Jordan Burke (73-211) advanced in a playoff, with Tyler Collet (-211) taking first alternate.
The South Florida PGA Professional Championship is presented by Club Car and Omega and supported by Titleist/FootJoy, Nike, TaylorMade, The Golf Channel, Precise Yardage Books, Golf Life Navigators, Whistling Straits/Koehler Destinations and The PGA Tour.
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