40th Florida Senior Open Set
The Florida Senior Open is conducted by the Florida State Golf Association and South Florida PGA Section annually and is open to Amateurs and Professionals over age 50 as of the start of the Championship. Over 300 players entered, with the field of 156 being set through 8 local qualifiers and exemptions earned from FSGA Amateur and North Florida PGA Section, South Florida PGA Section and Dixie PGA Section Championships and Points Lists
78 Amateurs & 78 Professionals will tee it up this weekend in Stuart at vying to become the 40th Florida Senior Open Champion. Players will play 18 holes on Friday & Saturday at each Willoughby Golf Club and Sailfish Point Golf Club, then the field will be cut to the low 60 and ties, with the final round on Sunday at Willoughby.
The deep field includes: the defending Champion, Eduardo Herrera, the returning low amateur, Brigham Gibbs (a), and past Champions; Mike San Filippo (2004, 2007, 2008, & 2011), Jerry Tucker (2009), Gene Fieger (2010), and Pete Williams (a) (2012).
The four-time champion San Filippo is coming into the tournament hot, after capturing the South Florida PGA Section Senior Championship last week at Tequesta Country Club. On the amateur side, Peter Wegmann (a) leads the FSGA Senior Player of the Year Points list, and has captured both the FSGA Senior Amateur Championship in April and the FSGA Senior Match Play in June. He will look to improve on his last two Florida Senior Open finishes, T13 in 2014 & T54 in 2015.
Don Bell - Bell captured 2014 FSGA Amateur Player of the Year Honors and has since turned professional pursing a Champions Tour card. In 2015, Bell struggled in his first round at the Florida Senior Open as a professional, carding 78, but fought back with 65-67 on the weekend to climb all the way back to T3 and was in contention all day on Sunday.
Bob Ford - The Head Golf Professional at Oakmont Country Club (PA) & Seminole Golf Club has a great playing resume, appearing in multiple US Open Championships and just finished T35 in last weeks Pennsylvania Open. Ford will make his first Florida Senior Open appearance this week.
Kenny Knox - Knox is a three-time PGA Tour winner, including the 1986 Honda Classic in Southeast Florida and earned exemption into his first Florida Senior Open after capturing the North Florida PGA Senior Match Play Championship this spring.
Victor Tortorici - The Director of Golf at host club Sailfish Point Golf Club, Tortorici has qualified for 2 US Open Championships and 1 Senior PGA Championship and holds a strong playing resume in the South Florida PGA Section. Tortorici made the cut in the 2013 & 2014 Florida Senior Opens, with his best finish T46, but the local knowledge should benefit him this week.
Rick Woulfe (a) - The Florida Senior Open may be the only championship the 66 year old has not won in Florida. The 9-time FSGA Senior Amateur Player of the Year played in his first Florida Senior Open in 2015 and finished T10, he finished T5 in the FSGA Senior Amateur Championship in April and is always a threat to lurk around the top of the leaderboard.