FORT MYERS (Sept. 11, 2020) – Michael Kartrude of The Bear’s Club figured he would need to get to 10-under to win the TechnoGym Fort Lauderdale Open.
He’s as good as making guesses as making putts.
The West Palm Beach resident shot a 3-under 69 Friday to win the South Florida PGA major by two strokes at 10-under 134.
Kartude won when Evan Bowser of LaPlaya double-bogeyed the 18th hole at the Forest Club’s Bear Course, hitting his tee shot out of bounds. But Kartrude put himself in position to win with birdies on the 15th and 16th holes that left them tied with two holes to play.
“I did what I had to do to win,” Kartrude said. “I had to make a birdie putt on 15 just to stay within a shot. If I don’t make those birdies, who knows what happens on 18.”
It has been quite the summer for Kartrude, who won the E-Z-GO South Florida Open and teamed with amateur Brad Wheatley to capture the South Florida PGA Pro-Scratch Championship. Kartrude shot a 65 Thursday at Crown Colony that left him one shot off Bowser’s lead.
Bowser (72) finished alone in second at 8-under 136. Alan Morin (70) of the Falls Club and Giles Robin (72) of Verandah Golf Club tied for third at 4-under 140. Morin won the Senior Division title by a shot over Steven Vecellio (68-141) of Frenchman’s Reserve and Gene Fieger (71-141)
Three players tied for fifth place at 3-under 141: Vecellio, Brett Martin (70) of Coral Ridge and Michael Berger (74) of Hammock Creek.
In two weeks, Kartrude will see how his game stacks up against some of the world’s best golfers. Earlier this year he qualified for the PGA Tour event in the Dominican Republic, only to see the tournament postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship will be held Sept. 24-27.
“It’s extremely important for me to play well there because that’s my ultimate goal – to play on Tour,” Kartrude said. “It’s important to play well in the events I’ve been playing in, but my ultimate goal is to get out there.
“I don’t want to put any more pressure on myself. I just want to go out and play golf. Do what I’m good at.”
The TechnoGym Fort Lauderdale Open, traditionally the first major in the South Florida PGA in May, was moved to a later date and venue because of the coronavirus pandemic. The TechnoGym Fort Lauderdale Open is sponsored by ATHALONZ, BioSweep Suncoast, CLEAR Golf, MedTerra and the PGA TOUR.