By CRAIG DOLCH
BOCA RATON (Sept. 24, 2020) – Tyler Collet of John’s Island Club picked a perfect time to win his first South Florida PGA tournament.
The Vero Beach resident fired a 3-under 69 Thursday at Broken Sound Club - Old Course to win the season-ending South Florida PGA Professional Championship. Collet birdied the 16th hole on the Old Course and finished at 7-under 209 to win by a shot over two players.
The victory earned the 25-year-old PGA Professional $7,200 and a spot in next year’s Puerto Rico Open on the PGA Tour. “It means everything,” Collet said. “It’s the biggest tournament I’ve ever won. I love the Section. I’ve been here four years. It’s an honor to win the Section Championship.
Five players were within a shot of the lead on the back nine until Collet recovered from a bad drive at the par-5 16thhole. His tee shot went right and landed in mulch. He hit a 5-iron to 220 yards to the edge of the green and two-putted from 25 feet.
“I had to hit a huge cut,” Collet said. “That was the key moment of the round for me.”
Matt Doyle (67) of Turtle Creek Golf Club and Paul Scaletta (70) of the Bear’s Club tied for second place at 6-under 210. Doyle missed a 60-foot birdie putt on No. 18 by an inch that would have forced a playoff. Scaletta missed a 20-footer on the final hole.
“I played really well,” said Doyle, who eagled the par-4 seventh. “No complaints."
“I made three mistakes on some short holes, and that was my tournament,” Scaletta said.
Defending champion Justin Bertsch (73) of Club Pelican Bay also needed to birdie the par-5 18th hole to force a playoff, but he missed the green and bogeyed to tie for fourth place with five-time champion Alan Morin (72) of the Falls Club and Rushi Oza (73) of the Jim McLean Golf School Biltmore.
Bertsch was bothered by a back injury during the round. “I gave it a run, but the back just gave out on the 18th hole,” Bertsch said.
Adam Scrimenti (71) of Woodmont Country Club tied for seventh with Matt Cahill (74) of Seminole at 2-under 214. John Lee of Imperial Golf Club shot the day’s best score, a 6-under 66, to vault 39 spots up the leaderboard and finish tied for ninth at 1-under 215 with Patrick Rada (73) of McArthur and Adam Miller (74) of the Adam Miller Golf School.
“I got it up-and-down a couple of times early, and that gave me some spirit,” said the 58-year-old Lee, who shot 63 in last year’s championship.
Qualifying for next year’s PGA Professional Championship was Collet, Doyle, Oza, Morin, Scrimenti, Cahill, Lee, Miller, Rada, Gomes and Justin McCarraher (70-215) in a playoff. Bertsch, Andrew Filbert and Justin Martin were exempt for the April 29-May 2nd championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie.
The South Florida PGA Professional Championship, run by the South Florida PGA, is sponsored by Club Car and Omega and supported by Titleist/Footjoy, Nike, TaylorMade, Golf Channel, PGA Tour, HATH, DLL, Winner’s Award Group and Worksite.
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