NAPLES (June 28, 2018) – Josh Pisarri of Naples became the first amateur to win the E-Z-GO South Florida Open since former PGA Tour champion Dudley Hart in 1987.
Pisarri shot a 4-under 68 Thursday on the Cypress Course at Bonita Bay Club Naples to win by a stroke over five PGA Professionals.
“It feels special to make history like that,” said Pisarri, a 24-year-old who played on the Coastal Carolina golf team. “I’m a little surprised to have won, but I knew I was playing well."
Pisarri started the final round three shots back, but overcame a bogey at the par-5 eighth hole with five birdies to finish at 9-under 207.
The first prize of $3,072 was added to the money earned by the five runner-ups: Three-time champion Alan Morin, PGA Assistant Golf Professional at The Falls of the Palm Beaches, two-time winner Gene Fieger, PGA Director of Golf at the Club at Pelican Bay, Mark Mielke, PGA Life Member, Justin Bertsch, PGA Head Golf Professional at the Hideout and Jessie Smutney, Associate at Plantation Golf & Country Club.
Pisarri, who received a $300 gift certificate, said he has no plans to turn professional. He said he’s rather enjoy the game than make a living from it.
“I had a lot of expectations when I graduated from Coastal Carolina,” he said. “Now I don’t. My goal is to try and win the U.S. Mid-Amateur so I can play in the Masters and U.S. Open.”
Andrew Filbert, the South Florida PGA’s reigning Player of the Year, finished eighth. Defending champion Patrick Rada, the PGA Head Professional at the McArthur Club in Hobe Sound, tied for ninth at 212.
Jerry Tucker became the Senior Champion Wednesday when he made a 90-foot putt from off the green for birdie on the first playoff hole to beat Fieger and Gary Keating, the PGA Director of Golf at Shell Point Golf Club. The trio shot 7-under 137.
“I just turned 69 and every (win) feels like a bonus,” said Tucker, A PGA Teaching Professional who has been the South Florida PGA Senior Player of the Year six times. “It had about 3 feet of break to the right. I knew it was going to be close and all of a sudden it went in.”
The E-Z-GO South Florida Open, run by the South Florida PGA, is presented by E-Z-GO and supported by Antigua, JaniKing, Precise Yardage Books and Turfhound. To view complete results click here