PARKLAND – Starting the final round tied for 21st
and six shots out of the lead, Andrew Filbert, PGA Assistant Professional at Bonita Naple figured he had little chance of defending the Fort Lauderdale Open.
Making five birdies in his first seven holes Tuesday changed his mindset.
“I knew I was right in it,” Filbert said.
Filbert kept making birdies, shooting a 6-under 66 in windy conditions at Parkland Golf & Country Club to defend his title. At 3-under 141, he finished two shots ahead of Patrick Rada, PGA Head Golf Professional at McArthur Golf Club and Gene Fieger, PGA Director of Golf at The Club at Pelican Bay.
“I got some putts to fall today,” said Filbert, who is the reigning Player of the Year in the South Florida PGA. “I burned a lot of edges yesterday. The putter got hot.”
Filbert finished his round more than 90 minutes before the leaders. He was surprised when his 3-under held up.
Fieger, who led after a 69 Monday, struggled on the greens and his 2-over 74 left him tied for second with Rada (69). Fieger, the director of golf at the Club at Pelican Bay in Naples, tied for the Senior Division title with Bob Ford (70-143) of Jupiter.
“I three-putted 9, 10 and 12,” Fieger said. “It was tough to get the ball close today. Andrew is a young guy and he hits it forever. I’ll be 58 next month, so I’m happy with the way I played.”
The Fort Lauderdale Open, run by the South Florida PGA, is presented by French Lick Resort and supported by Antigua, Argolf, Global Golf Sales, GolfBuddy, Morrell Studios, Precise Yardage Book, TechnoGym and the PGA Tour.
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