Boys' Junior Champ Earns PGA Tour Exemption
The 2014 FSGA Boys’ Junior Championship saw two winners crowned, John Coultas in the 16-18 age division and Ty Strafaci in the 13-15 age division. Last week Coultas made headlines, receiving a spot on Team USA for the Arnold Palmer Cup. Now this week was Strafaci’s turn to grab national headlines.
The Georgia Tech Freshman was back home in Southeast Florida, playing the Valspar Collegiate at The Floridian, just up I-95 from where Strafaci grew up in Davie, FL. Strafaci would play the chasing game, as he opened up in round 1 with 73 (+2), then would go on and post a pair of 69’s over the final two rounds to finish 54 holes at 2-under- par 211. When he got into the clubhouse early Tuesday afternoon after starting the day in 5th place, Will Zalatoris, of Wake Forest was on the course at -4 in the lead, but would finish double-bogey, bogey to fall one stroke back. After sweating it out on the range for a few minutes as both South Carolina’s Scott Stevens and South Florida’s Rigel Fernandes finished, Strafaci came out on top, earning his first college victory and a sponsors exemption to the PGA Tour’s 2018 Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor.
Strafaci has a deep history with the Florida State Golf Association and Florida Junior Tour. Tyler’s father Frank was the President of the association in 1997, and Ty has competed in FSGA events from a young age. In 23 Florida Junior Tour starts between 2011 and 2015, Strafaci earned 5 victories, the 2013 Junior Amateur Match Play Championship, and 2014 Boys’ Junior Championship. Tyler also captured the 2013 Florida Junior Tour Boys 13-15 Points Championship.