Vertz Wins The Florida Open
Ben Vertz, of Coral Springs, outlasted the field of 156 players to capture the 64th Florida Open Championship. Vertz fired an opening round 3-over par 75 on the Island course to trail the first round leader by five strokes. Vertz came out firing in the second round on the Copperhead course with a two-under par 33 on the front nine, which included two birdies and no bogeys. Vertz continued his solid play on the back nine carding a three-under par 33 for a round of 5-under par 66. Vertz would take a two shot lead going into the final day of the championship at Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club playing at 7,255 yards.
In the final round, Vertz started out with a bogey on the second hole, and then rattled off six straight pars before coming to the par 4 ninth hole. Vertz closed out his front nine with a birdie on the ninth hole to turn at even par 36. Vertz stated “After my bogey on number two I really refocused on what I was doing out there, and making birdie on nine really jumpstarted my round". Vertz played a solid round of golf on the back nine firing a two-under par 33 for a final round two-under par 69. Vertz concluded his round by making a 35 foot birdie putt on the final hole to capture the championship. “This is the biggest victory of my career, and this is an incredible feeling. This victory is even sweeter after what happened to me at the Amateur” said Vertz. Two weeks ago Vertz finished tied for fifth at the 93rd Florida State Amateur Championship at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge and he currently is a member of the Nova Southeastern Golf team.
Tyler McCumber, of Ponte Vedra Beach, finished in second place for the second straight year three strokes back of Vertz with a tournament total of one-under par 213. McCumber carded a 2-under par 69 on the Copperhead in the final round highlighted by his four-under par 31 on the back nine that included four birdies and no bogeys. Andrew Pressentin, of Bonita Springs finished alone in third place by firing a final round two-under par 69, for a tournament total of even par 214. Richard Terga, of Palm Beach Gardens who is the PGA Professional at The Breakers Ocean Course finished in fourth place posting a final round one-under par 70, and was the low Professional in the championship taking home $12,000 with his fourth place finish.