Caleb Johnson Wins 68th Florida Open
Caleb Johnson captured the 68th Florida Open Championship posting a tournament total of 12-under par at The Bonita Bay Club in Naples on July 18-20.
Caleb Johnson, of Ocala, outlasted the field of 156 players to capture the 68th Florida Open Championship. Johnson opened up his Championship campaign on the Cypress Course, posting a four-under par 68 to trail Charles Wang, of Bradenton by two shots after 18-holes of play. Johnson’s flawless first round included four birdies and no bogeys. Playing the Bay Island Course in the second round, Johnson would use three birdies to go along with his two bogeys for his round of one-under par 71. With a 36-hole total of five-under par 139, Johnson would find himself in the final pairing on Sunday and only three shots back.
In the final round, Johnson would trail the overnight leader, Tyler Hock, of Ocala, for most of the afternoon, and even after a two-under par front nine, Johnson would still trail Hock by two shots enter the final nine holes of play. After birdies by Hock on 10 and 12 to get to 12-under par for the Championship, Johnson’s chances looks slim as he stood on the 12th tee box. What happened on the final seven holes was for Johnson was pretty special. Johnson would peel off four birdies in a row on holes 12-15 to cut Hock’s lead to only one shot. After both players bogeyed the difficult par-3 16th hole, Johnson would still only trial by one shot. Johnson would take the lead on the 17th hole with another birdie, as Hock would make bogey. Standing on the 18th tee, Johnson would hold a one shot lead over three players. Needing at least a par on the final hole, Johnson would do one better finishing off the Championship in style by knocking his approach shot to one foot to make yet another birdie and cap of his round of seven-under par 65. With his victory, Johnson will take home the first place check of $12,000.
Matt Borchert, of Windermere, and Tyler Hock, of Ocala, finished tied for second place with a tournament total of 10-under par 206. Brad Brunner, of Tampa, and Zachary Oakley, of Palm City, shared fourth place honors with a tournament total of nine-under par 207. Low amateur honors were shared by Joe Alfieri, of Lutz, Keith Green, of DeBary, and Charles Wang, of Bradenton, who all finished tied for 11th place.
Started in 1942, The Florida Open Championship has produced past champions that include Willie Turnesa, Bob Murphy, Gary Koch, Bruce Fleisher, John Huston, Dudley Hart, and Bart Bryant. This is the sixth year the Florida State Golf Association will be conducting this great championship.