1995 Florida Open - Palm Aire CC

Rodney Butcher

Moss Misses Gimme Shot, Hands Florida Open To Butcher

Miami Herald
October 9, 1995

 

Most of the spectators had already started toward the first tee for the playoff when the winning putt rolled past the cup. Then came the groans and gasps, and everyone looked back at the 18th green.

There stood Perry Moss, a look of horror on his face. He couldn't believe what he had just done, and neither could anyone else.

He had blown the 53rd Florida Open by missing a one-foot putt on the last green, a simple tap-in that under different circumstances would have been called a "gimme." He had three-putted from 15 feet to lose by a shot.

Back at the scorer's tent, Rodney Butcher was preparing for one of two scenarios: A playoff, or a second-place handshake. The third scenario, a victory, didn't cross his mind until someone told him what Moss had done. "I can't believe it," Butcher said. "I feel bad for him."

Moss' miscue on 18 handed the tournament to Butcher, a 25-year-old Rhode Island native living in West Palm Beach, who had blistered the Cypress Course at Palm Aire Country Club in Pompano Beach for a 5-under 67 and a 9-under 279 total. The $11,000 check is the biggest of Butcher's life. Moss earned $6,000 for second. "The money doesn't matter," said Moss, who played on the PGA Tour in 1993. "I don't do this for money. In the whole scheme of things, this is just practice for trying to get back on the tour."

Like Moss and just about everyone else in the field, Butcher, a 1992 Florida Southern grad, is headed to PGA Tour Qualifying School next. He made it to the final stage last year, but missed the cut.

He played half a year on the Nike Tour, with a conditional card, but after driving to 16 tournaments as an alternate and getting into just six of them (missing the cut all six times), he ran out of money and went back to Rhode Island.

He won the Vermont Open this summer. The $9,000 check was the biggest of his career, until Sunday. Butcher's wild round got under way with a snap-hooked drive into the water for double-bogey at No. 2 and a 220-yard 3-iron to three feet at No. 4 for an eagle. He got hot on the back nine, chipping in for birdie on both 13 and 14, then making it four birdies in a row with putts on 15 and 16. He held a one-stroke lead coming to 18, but opened the door for Moss, the only other golfer in contention, by bogeying 18 from short of the green.

Moss knocked an 8-iron up to 15 feet, giving him a shot for the victory. A two-putt would have sent the two men to a playoff. But after Moss' 15-foot try rolled a foot past the cup, he walked up to his ball and putted it, instead of marking it and taking his time. It was a fatal mistake. The ball took off to the left, catching the edge of the cup but lipping out. "It's been a long time since I've been in the hunt," a stunned Moss said later. "I should have backed off and settled down. I was in shock when it happened. It was so routine. I started to reach down into the cup to take my ball out, but it wasn't there."

Someone came around and passed out final scoring summaries. Moss grabbed one and looked hard at it, as if his name would be at the top, as if this nightmare had never happened. "Unbelievable," he said. "Unbelievable." 

 Pos.
Name
Rd. 1
2
3
4
Total
Winnings

1

Rodney Butcher, West Palm Beach

69

70

73

67

279

$11,000

2

Perry Moss, Shreverport

72

69

68

71

280

6,000

3

John Elliot, Medway, Mass.

70

67

72

73

282

2,500

3

Steve Ford, Melbourne

71

69

70

72

282

2,500

5

P.J. Cowan, Stuart

72

70

72

69

283

1,500

6

Tom Garner, Winter Park

70

69

73

72

284

1,300

7

Ken Tanigawa, Dublin, Ohio

72

69

75

69

285

1,100

7

Rick Price, Palm Beach Gardens

73

69

73

70

285

1,100

7

Ed Pearce, Temple Terrace

69

70

73

73

285

1,100

10

Bryan A. Decorso, Canada

73

71

70

72

286

925

10

Todd Fanning, Canada

71

73

68

74

286

925

12

Victor Leoni, Miami

79

66

70

72

287

812

12

Adam Adams, Coconut Creek

70

73

72

72

287

812

12

David Yarmitzky, Fort Lauderdale

70

71

72

74

287

812

12

R. Kennedy Jr., Fort Lauderdale

68

69

76

74

287

812

12

Chris Campbell, Vero Beach

68

71

73

75

287

812

17

Terry Mauney, Charloote

72

74

73

69

288

720

17

Ki[ Byrne, Boca Raton

74

69

73

72

288

720

17

Keith Rick, Tallahassee

74

68

71

75

288

720

20

Scott Zankl, Pompano

72

74

73

70

289

630

20

Tim Balmer, Plantation

73

72

73

71

289

630

20

R. Boldt, Walnut Creek, California

69

75

73

72

289

630

20

Dennis Postlewalt, Palm Beach Gardens

74

72

71

72

289

630

20

Jim Weiss, Boca Raton

70

70

76

73

289

630

20

Fran Quinn, Worcester, Massachusetts

74

72

69

74

289

630

26

Jeff Lewis, West Palm

73

71

75

71

290

520

26

D. Tymosko, Miami Lakes

76

71

71

72

290

520

26

Lou Maiorana, Boynton Beach

74

72

71

73

290

520

26

Robert Jackson, Davie

72

73

71

74

290

520

26

Sean Gorgone, Lake Mary

70

72

73

75

290

520

26

Mike Donald, Hollywood

70

37

74

79

290

520

32

Brad Ball, West Palm Beach

71

73

74

73

291

465

32

Glen Miclotta, Boca Raton

71

76

71

73

291

465

32

Bob Bailey, Clermont

73

72

72

74

291

465

32

Peter Horrobin, North Miami

72

70

73

76

291

465

36

Lance Ten Broeck, Jupiter

76

70

71

75

292

440

37

Chris Stobs, Miami

75

71

75

72

293

420

37

R.J. Nakashian, Boca Raton

73

74

72

74

293

420

37

Mike Meehan, Fort Lauderdale

76

69

73

75

293

420

40

T. Feiginwinter, Pompano Beach

71

73

77

73

294

100

40

Darron Stiles, Plant City

72

72

77

73

294

100

40

Shannon Sykora, Plantation

71

73

76

74

294

100

40

Mark Tunstill, Palm Beach Gardens

73

70

73

78

294

100

 

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