By CRAIG DOLCH
Special to South Florida PGA
BOYNTON BEACH (July 22, 2019)
– Patrick Rada and Mark Mielke both came to the South Florida golf scene via South Carolina.
Rada played collegiately at the University of South Carolina, with Mielke attending high school in Columbia – home of the Gamecocks -- before playing at the College of Charleston.
That connection proved to be a winning one Monday when Rada and Mielke teamed up to capture the Yahama Junior-Senior Championship at Hunter’s Run Golf and Racquet Club. They shot 10-under 62 on the South Course and won a two-hole playoff over Tim Turpen and Jerry Tucker.
It was the first time Rada and Mielke played together in a South Florida PGA event. It won’t be the last time.
“That is a little-known fact,” Rada, the PGA Head Professional at McArthur Club in Hobe Sound, said of the South Carolina link. “We’ve played practice rounds together and we’ve always gotten along with each other. I really enjoy playing team events because it’s fun to enjoy (the win) with someone else.”
Mielke, who earned Senior Player of the Year honors in the South Florida PGA two years ago, usually tries to qualify for the Senior British Open this week. But he skipped the trip this year and is glad he did.
“It’s always great to win,” said Mielke, a PGA Teaching Professional at High Ridge Country Club. “We never came close to making a bogey. It was a stress-free round.”
Both teams parred the first playoff hole. Rada and Mielke won when Stuart resident Tucker missed a 4-foot par putt on the second hole. Tucker was trying to win the event for the fifth time, the first with Turpin, the Director of Golf at The Preserve at Ironhorse.
“You hate to see it end like that,” Rada said. “I’d have rather we won it with a birdie.”
Defending champions Brett McCurdy and Danny St. Louis of Breakers West Rees Jones Course tied for third at 64 with Ralph Garofano of Eastpointe and Sonny Grosso of Country Club of Mirasol, and John Balyeat of Quail Creek and Peter Mogg of Highland Woods.
The format consisted of six holes of alternate shot, best-ball and scramble. The Yahama Junior-Senior Championship, staged by the South Florida PGA, is supported by Ahead, Srixon/Cleveland Golf/XXIO, Cutter & Buck, Global Golf Sales and Winner’s Award Group.
For results, go to https://sflpga.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/sflpga19/event/sflpga1994/contest/1/leaderboard.htm