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RAFAEL FLORIANI WINS SOUTH FLORIDA PGA SENIOR PGA PROFESSIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

August 18th, 2020

By CRAIG DOLCH
Special to South Florida PGA
 
     PORT ST. LUCIE (Aug. 18, 2020) – Rafael Floriani of Port St. Lucie fired his second consecutive 5-under 66 Tuesday to win the South Florida PGA Senior PGA Professional Championship at PGA Golf Club.
 
     Floriani birdied three of his last seven holes on the Ryder Course to finish at 10-under 132, two shots ahead of Joe Kern of Vero Beach.
     “I’m very humbled to win this championship,” said Floriani, a faculty member and PGA Master Professional at the PGA Education Center. “The South Florida Section has so many great players and gentlemen I have looked up to for a long time.
 
     “This has to be the No. 1 highlight of my career. I’m very comfortable at this facility. I have been playing these golf courses for 11 years.”
 
      The 52-year-old Floriani didn’t make a bogey on his last 34 holes and made five birdies Tuesday. He didn’t know he won until he reached the scoring area.
 
    “It’s been a little bit of a dry spell for me lately,” Floriani said. “I’m not complaining. I tried to keep it simple. I played the percentages and made some good putts. Yesterday the putter felt good and that gave me a lot of confidence today.”
 
    Kern of Hawks Nest made it interesting with birdies on his last three holes to shoot 7-under 64, the low round of the tournament. But Kern started four shots back and Floriani didn’t make any mistakes.
 
    Alan Morin (70) of The Falls and Roger Kennedy Jr. (67) of the Country Club at Mirasol tied for third place at 135. Three players tied for fifth at 138: Daniel Heaslip (67) of Windstar Naples Bay, Lee Rinker (68) of Emerald Dunes and Steven Vecellio (69) of Frenchman’s Reserve. Steve Madsen (69-139) was eighth.
    
The top eight finishers advanced to the Senior PGA Professional Championship Oct. 15-18 at PGA Golf Club.
    Another home game for Floriani.
 
    The South Florida PGA Senior PGA Professional Championship, run by the South Florida PGA, is sponsored by Golf Channel, John Deere and Whistling Straits.
     For scores, go to