1996 Florida Open - Palm Aire CC

Eric Brito

Brito Delivers Just In Time At Florida Open

Miami Herald
September 30, 1996

Eric Brito stood atop the winner's podium hugging an oversize check for $20,000. He smiled and even laughed a bit.

Brito began the year working as a cashier in a convenience store. He washed dishes in a restaurant. And this past week he took off five days from his pizza delivery job in Orlando to follow his dream.

Brito was the best golfer Sunday as he fired a final-round 67 for a four-day total of 279 to rally from three strokes back and win the Florida Open Championship -- and the largest paycheck of his life.

Brito shot a four-day total of 279 over the par-71 Cypress Course at the Palm-Aire Country Club in Pompano Beach. He has seven other mini-tour wins, but not in the past three years, and none has come close to the money he won Sunday.

"I don't care what job I have so long as it affords me time to play golf and chase my dream of playing on the PGA Tour," Brito said. "I finally had to take a job to keep my in-laws happy. They don't understand my dreams and what I want to be. Golf takes time."

Fort Lauderdale's Marty Stanovich, among the leaders for all four days, shot a 70 Sunday to finish at 280 and earn $10,000. Port St. Lucie's Frank Dobbs slipped to 73 and was third at 282, claiming $5,000.

Brito has immediate plans for the $20,000. "The first thing I am going to do is buy a new car -- and I mean as soon as (Monday)."

Brito 's current ride, a Nissan Pulsar, has more than 160,000 miles.

"I became a very good self-made mechanic by owning this car," he said. "Friday, I finally put a new radio in it and I had plans this Tuesday to change the tires and maybe the brakes. But now, it's off to the dump. I am going to buy a new van with a VCR, a TV and a nice couch I can sleep on when I travel to these tournaments. I deserve it and so does my wife (Sherri) who has stood by me through all the tough times."

Brito started the final round Sunday trailing by three strokes. His closing 67 was the same he fired in Thursday's opening round, his 28th birthday. In between, he shot 74 and 71. Brito started his charge Sunday with a 25-foot chip for birdie on the third hole. He saved par on No. 4 with a shot out of the bunker. On Nos. 6 and 7 he got birdies with his sand wedge to close to within one of the leader. He shot par on Nos. 8 through 11 and two-putted for par on 12 and 13. A 15-foot sand wedge on 14 kept him one back. After he bogeyed 15, he came back with par on 16 and birdies on the final two holes.

The Florida Open is part of a mini-tour through the state where golfers compete with aspirations of winning limited prize money. Some chase the money, hoping to eventually attend the PGA qualifying school. Brito can't attend Q School this year. The closing day to apply was Sept. 21. In the meantime, "Wednesday or Thursday, depending on how I feel, it's back to pizza delivery."

In the amateur division, Miami Springs' Dan Bradley, 48, shot 78 to finish at 300, eight strokes ahead of Fort Lauderdale's O'Brian Gordon and Tampa's Akio Sadakata. Roger Kennedy, from Pompano Beach, shot 72 for a 293 to win the senior division by seven strokes over Pompano Beach's Joe Caracciolo, whose 69 gave him 300.

 Pos.
Name
Rd. 1
2
3
4
Total
Winnings

1

Eric Brito

67

74

71

76

279

$20,000

2

Marty Stanovich

68

71

71

70

280

10,000

3

Frankl Dobbs

69

70

70

73

282

5,000

4

Dustin Phillips

71

69

70

73

283

3,000

5

Tom Garner

73

72

70

69

284

2,000

6

Chad Walker

74

71

68

73

286

1,500

7

Paul Tesori

68

74

69

76

287

1,200

T8

Cesaer Monasterio

67

73

70

76

288

1,125

T8

Chad Couch

78

70

67

73

288

1,125

T10

Adam Spring

72

72

73

72

289

1,037.50

T10

David Branshaw

73

72

72

72

289

1,037.50

T10

Chris Kaufman

71

73

72

73

289

1,037.50

T10

P.J. Cowan

70

68

76

75

289

1,037.50

T14

Shane Supple

71

73

73

73

290

962.50

T14

Juan Nutt

73

72

70

75

290

962.50

T16

Howard Mash

73

71

77

70

291

900

T16

Dan Stone

70

73

76

72

291

900

T16

Brad Lehman

78

66

72

75

291

900

T19

Peter Johncke

70

71

78

73

292

830

T19

Jeff Leonard

74

70

73

75

292

830

T19

Dave Miley

73

73

71

75

292

830

T22

Roger Kennedy (s)

77

71

73

72

293

2,000

T22

Barry Cheesman

73

75

73

72

293

730.71

T22

Robert Ames

72

75

74

72

293

730.71

T22

Jerry Springer

77

72

70

74

293

730.71

T22

Kevin Altenhof

71

75

74

73

293

730.71

T22

Peter Horrobin

73

76

70

74

293

730.71

T22

Daniel Albert

69

78

72

74

293

730.71

T22

Ken Duke

72

72

74

75

293

730.71

T30

Chris Borgen

75

71

74

74

294

630

T30

Mike Donald

77

73

71

73

294

630

T30

Tony DeMaria

75

72

70

77

294

630

T30

Bob Bailey

75

72

70

77

294

630

T30

Rick Powers

75

74

76

69

294

630

T35

Chris Berens

76

69

78

72

295

580

T35

Jimmy Stobs

73

72

73

77

295

580

T35

Dean Prowse

73

72

73

77

295

580

T38

Tim Balmer

74

74

71

77

296

540

T38

David Canipe

77

71

75

73

296

540

T38

Patrick Sheehan

72

76

71

77

296

540

T38

Victor Leoni

72

78

74

72

296

540

T38

Eric Anderson

66

74

76

80

296

540

T43

Rick Johnston

75

69

77

76

297

505

T43

Clark Burroughs

72

76

73

76

297

505

T43

Lance Tenbroeck

75

74

72

76

297

505

T43

Mike Meehan

76

74

72

75

297

505

T43

Dave Yarmitzky

72

75

79

71

297

505

T48

Frank Babusik

73

73

75

77

298

487.50

T48

Ron Terry

74

71

72

81

298

487.50

T50

Chris Couch

80

68

74

77

299

475

T50

Geoffrey Goldstein

74

76

72

77

299

475

T50

Anthony Ballestero

73

75

75

76

299

475

T53

Joe Caracciolo (s)

77

78

76

69

300

1,300

T53

Dan Bradley (a)

78

75

76

71

300

400

T53

Mike Finster

73

75

77

75

300

465

T56

Vance Noxom (s)

79

73

72

77

301

1,000

T56

Ben Stevens

75

74

74

78

301

457.50

T56

Roger Kennedy, Jr.

75

73

77

76

301

457.50

59

Jack McFaul

75

75

77

75

302

450

60

Mike Fish (s)

77

79

72

75

303

850

61

Tom Hendrix (s)

75

76

76

77

304

700

62

Jim Burgess (s)

80

72

78

76

306

550

T63

Ron Widener (s)

77

74

80

77

308

366.67

T63

Ron Murphy (s)

82

77

72

77

308

366.67

T63

Ray Fraser (s)

79

79

72

78

308

366.67

T63

O'Brian Gordon (a)

78

82

73

75

308

325

T63

Akio Sadakata (a)

73

78

79

78

308

325

T68

Jim Frederick (s)

78

80

74

78

310

275

T68

Steve Sponder (a)

73

79

74

84

310

275

T70

Scott Grant (a)

79

80

76

76

311

237.50

T70

Gavin Phillips (a)

81

80

74

76

311

237.50

T72

Vince Cherix (a)

77

81

78

77

313

195

T72

Notichika Tokuno (a)

83

79

73

78

313

195

74

Rob Fodor (a)

78

83

77

77

315

180

T75

Warren Woodcock (a)

79

75

83

81

318

165

T75

Ryan Moore (a)

78

85

75

80

318

165

77

Carter Calloway (a)

77

85

77

80

319

150

T78

Abel-Soto Torres (a)

78

82

80

80

320

135

T78

Travis Stewart (a)

82

80

74

84

320

135

80

Chad Plothow (a)

80

80

80

81

321

125

81

Larry Barousse (a)

82

81

82

78

323

120

82

Michael McBride (a)

77

82

82

83

324

115

83

Kurt Homefelt (a)

83

78

87

82

330

110

 
FSGA links and resources
© 2018 Florida State Golf Association. All rights reserved. • Sitemap
While viewing this site, you are subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
Return to Top