Perry Wins the 65th Florida Open Championship

Rod Perry prevailed in a playoff to win the 65th Florida Open Championship at Black Diamond Ranch in Lecanto, on July 15-17.

Rod Perry, of Port Orange, outlasted the field of 156 players to capture the 65th Florida Open Championship.  Perry fired an opening round four-under par 68 on the Ranch course to trail the first round leader by two strokes. Perry carded another solid round on the Quarry course with a three-under par 69 to find himself tied for the lead heading into the final round of play. In the final round, Perry played a perfect round of golf with three birdies and no bogeys to post a three-under par 69 for a tournament total of 10-under par 206. Alan Morin, Royal Palm Beach, posted rounds of 69-69-68, which included a clutch birdie on the final hole of regulation for a tournament total of 10-under par 206, to force a three hole aggregate playoff with Perry.

The three hole aggregate playoff would be played on holes 18, 1 and 9. Perry would birdie the par 5 18th hole, and make par on holes 1 and 9 to capture his first Florida Open Championship and the $12,000 check.  Perry, who currently works out of Daytona Beach Golf Club, stated "I played solid all day hitting every green in regulation; I knew Alan would make a move today, he is a great player and I have the utmost respect for him. Perry stated "It was unfortunate what happened to Alan on the first playoff hole, he only made two bogeys in 54- holes, so for him to make an eight was out of the ordinary. After my birdie on the first playoff hole, I just wanted to hit fairways and greens on the final two holes".  "This is the biggest victory of my career. With the history behind this event, I am happy to have my name associated with the other great Champions" said Perry. 

Carlos Velez, of Miami, finished in third place after a final round of even par 72 for a tournament total of seven-under par 209. Velez, currently working out of Miccosukee Golf & Country Club, posted a six-under par 66 in the first round on the Quarry course to go along with his second round of one-under par 71 on the Ranch course. Taking home low Amateur honors was Brant Peaper, of Tequesta, who finished tied for fourth place with a tournament total of six-under par 210. Peaper, currently a junior at the University of Indiana, posted rounds of 66-75-69.

The top 156 amateur & professional golfers in the state played 18 holes each on the Quarry Course and the Ranch Course on July 15-16. After 36 holes, the field was cut to the low 60 and ties. The final 18 holes of the Championship were played on the Quarry Course on July 17. Before reaching the Championship, more than 1000 participants attempted to qualify at one of 16 sites across the state.

Started in 1942, The Florida Open Championship has produced past champions that include Willie Turnesa, Bob Murphy, Gary Koch, Bruce Fleisher, John Huston, Dudley Hart, and Bart Bryant.  This will be the third year the Florida State Golf Association will be conducting this great championship.



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