Eduardo Herrera, of Windermere, played three exceptional rounds of golf to be crowned Florida Senior Open Champion for the second time after winning the Championship in 2015 at Belleair Country Club. Herrera stood two shots back after round one with a four under-par 68. Taking the early lead was 2009 Florida Senior Open Champion, Jerry Tucker, of Stuart, who posted a six under-par 66. Gary Koch, former PGA Tour player, and Gene Fieger, 2010 Florida Senior Open Champion, tied for second place after the first round with a 67.
Round two began on Saturday morning and the players were fighting to make the cut into Sunday’s final round. Mark Mielke, of Jupiter, charged to the lead carding the course record, nine under-par 63, for an eight under-par total! Mielke shot an impressive ten strokes less than day one to head into the final round one stroke ahead of Herrera, Fieger, and Miles McConnell who were all tied for second. The great course conditions and pristine greens led to a low cut of three over-par, 147. A total of 65 players, 42 professionals and 23 amateurs, advanced to the final round. Ten players stood within four shots of the lead making for an exciting Sunday finish.
The final round low 66 (-6) propelled Eduardo Herrera to a two stroke victory at 13 under-par, 203. Herrera started his round with a bang making an eagle on the par five, first hole. Posting two back to back birdies on holes three and four, Herrera made the turn at four under-par. Following close behind was Fieger who carded three birdies to turn at three under-par. Mielke and McConnell faltered in the final round falling out of contention leaving the final nine holes a battle between Fieger and Herrera. A double bogey on Herrera’s 12th hole brought the two players tied heading into the home stretch. Fieger birdied the 13th hole putting pressure on Herrera’s game. The pressure seemed to light a fire for Herrera as he birdied holes 14, 15, and the final hole 18 to seal his win! Fieger carded a final nine 35 for a 68 and tournament total 205 (-11). Herrera hoisted the trophy for the second time in two years! The low amateur award went to Chris Howell, of Winter Garden, who posted three under-par rounds of 71,70, 67 for a 208 (-8) total. Owen Joyner, of Bonita Springs, finished three strokes behind to claim second low amateur at 211 (-5).
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*Story pulled from the Florida State Golf Association website. Click here to view original content.