Florida Open Championship

Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club - Copperhead & Island Courses - Palm Harbor, FL
July 13-15, 2018

Lench Goes Wire-to-Wire to capture 72nd Florida Open

Round 1 & 2 Recap

Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club, located in Palm Harbor, hosted the prestigious 72nd Florida Open Championship. A total of 156 professionals and amateurs played 36 holes of stoke play on the Island and Copperhead Courses before making a cut to the low 60 players and ties for the final round. Several red numbers sat at the top of the leaderboard after round one making for a tight race heading into day two. Gabriel Lench, of Lake Mary, continues his impressive play after winning the 2018 Amateur Championship three weeks prior. Lench earned the wire-to-wire lead with a round of 68 (-4) on the Island Course and even par round two on the Copperhead Course for a two-day total of 139. Matt Cote, of Palm Harbor, lurks close behind after a great first round of 69 (-3) on the Island Course and an even par second round. Cote will be vying for his first FSGA victory on Sunday. Gene Yang tied Cote for second place with identical rounds of 69-71 for a 140 total, one stroke from first place. 

Other notable players in the hunt include: past State Amateur, Amateur Match Play, and Four-Ball Champion, Jacob Huizinga, of Orlando, finished two strokes back due to a 68 in round two on the Copperhead course. Defending Champion, J C Deacon, sits three strokes back while 2017 Player of the Year, Marc Dull, is four strokes from the lead at 143 total. Caleb Johnson, two-time Florida Open Champion, posted rounds of 70-75 to start the final round six strokes behind. 66 players made the cut at seven over-par, 150 total. The final round will be played on the Copperhead course with tee times beginning at 7:30 AM. 

Final Round Recap

The final round proved to be a tough battle on the Copperhead course as Gabriel Lench, Matt Cote, and Gene Yang competed to claim the Championship along with several strong forces lurking close behind. Lench played a steady front nine posting seven pars in a row with one birdie on the seventh hole to turn at one-under par for the day. Starting with a birdie, Cote was ready to overcome Lench’s lead but with two bogies he started the final nine holes at even par for the day. Past FSGA Champion and four-time amateur player of the year, Joe Alfieri, of Lutz, overcame a three stroke deficit to climb up the leaderboard. Alfieri began his final round with three birdies on the front nine and finished the back nine with one birdie and one bogey to finish with a 68 (-3). With a three round total of 210 (-4), Alfieri finished in second place, one stroke ahead of Cote. 
Matt Cote finished the Championship at even par with two birdies and two bogies on the back nine for a 211 (-3) total. Cote fell to tied for third place with Michael DeMorat. DeMorat had a come from behind final round of 66 to tie Cote. Joe Stepnes played steady golf prior to the final day posting two even par rounds of 71-72. Stepnes played tough in the final round with six birdies in the first eleven holes to move to tied for the lead through the 14th hole. On the 16th hole Stepnes hit a ball in the water and struggled to finish tied for fifth place at 213 (-1). Lench never lost sight of the lead and finished the Championship with a wire-to-wire victory after a 69 and 208 (-6) final. Gabe is the third player since 1955 to win the Florida Open and Amateur Championship in the same year. Some facts about Lench, he failed to qualify for the Florida Open the day before the Amateur Championship. After winning the Amateur Championship three weeks prior to the Open Championship, Lench became exempt to the Open where he earned his win. 

Michael Finster carded rounds of 74-68-71 to finish tied for fifth place after making the cut at the U.S. Senior Open Championship. Devon Hopkins, Alexander Vogelsong, and Will Wiseman tied Stepnes and Finster for fifth place at 213 (-1). The most experienced player in the Championship at the age of 69, Jerry Tucker, played impressive golf with three consistent rounds of 73 to finish tied for 31st 219 (+5). The Florida Open Championship will be played at The Hammock Dunes Club in 2019 where Lench will defend his victory. 

Preview

Full Results

 

Tee Information

Tee Yardage / Info
Copperhead Round 1 & 2 Par 71 - 7,128 yds. 75.4 / 141
Island Rounds 1 & 2 Par 72 - 7,070 yds. 75.1 / 144
Copperhead Round 3 Par 71 - 6,999 yds. 74.8 / 140

Weather Information

Description Temp
Sunny Hot 94 °F
Tournament Results
(a) = Amateur
Position Name Rd.1 Rd.2 Rd.3 Total Score Points
1 Gabriel Lench 68 71 69 208 10000
2 Joe Alfieri II (a) 73 69 68 210 7000
T3 Matt Cote 69 71 71 211 0
T3 Mickey DeMorat 72 73 66 211 0
T5 Will Wiseman 72 70 71 213 0
T5 Devon Hopkins (a) 74 72 67 213 2440
T5 Joe Stepnes 71 72 70 213 0
T5 Mike Finster (a) 74 68 71 213 2440
T5 Alex Vogelsong (a) 71 75 67 213 2440
+ View Full Results


$100,000 Purse

Local Qualifying Purses 

$12,000-$14,000 Total Across 16 Sites

The FSGA is contributing money that will be paid at local qualifying sites in appreciation of the Golf Professionals of Florida!

(Each qualifying site's purse is determined by the number of Professionals who "tee off" in that specific qualifier - WD's and no shows do not count) - See local purse schedule here

Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club plays host to the 72nd Florida Open in Palm Harbor. The Florida Open is open to PGA golf professionals, amateur golfers, and other professional golfers who meet the eligibility requirements listed below. The Florida Open has a rich history that dates back to 1942 and includes notable champions, such as Bob Murphy, Gary Koch, Charles Owens, Bruce Fleisher, John Huston, Dudley Hart, and Bart Bryant among others.  Click here to read more about the historic event and its past Champions.

Professionals and Amateurs can qualify for the Championship through local qualifying.  Exemptions are available through State Amateur Championships & PGA Section Events. For a look at the 2017 Championship click here.

Championship Format

  • 54 holes of individual stroke play
  • The field will be cut to the low 60 and ties after 36 holes
  • The lowest score for 54 holes will be the Champion
  • All players will play 18 holes each on the Copperhead Course and the Island Course on Friday, July 13th, and Saturday, July 14th
  • The final 18 holes will be played on the Copperhead Course on Sunday, July 15th

Championship Field Size

  • Maximum of 156 players

Eligibility

  • Male amateur and professional golfers
  • Florida Resident  (If you have any doubt - please click and review to avoid issues)
  • A valid USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 6.4 at the time of entry (amateurs and amateurs awaiting reinstatement only)
  • Entrant is not required to be a member of the FSGA
  • PGA class A-3 members are ineligible
  • Playing Activity - Players that have played in less than (7) "major" tour events or less than (19) "one or two-day" type mini-tour events in the 12 months prior to the Championship are eligible
  • If you have any questions about your eligibility, it is the player's responsibility to review the guidelines and to contact the FSGA office as needed to ensure eligibility
  • Ineligible applicants will not receive refunds  Click here to view FSGA Tournament Policies.

Qualifying Sites

  • June 13 - The Golf Club at North Hampton, Fernandina Beach
  • June 18 - Capital City Country Club, Tallahassee
  • June 18 - Legacy Club at Alaqua Lakes, Longwood
  • June 19 - Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club, Palm Harbor
  • June 19 - The Polo Club of Boca Raton, Boca Raton
  • June 22 - Imperial Golf Club, Naples
  • June 25 - Carrollwood Country Club, Tampa
  • June 25 - Lago Mar Country Club, Plantation
  • June 25 - Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando
  • June 27 - Colonial Country Club, Fort Myers
  • June 27 - Rocky Bayou Country Club, Niceville
  • June 28 - Longboat Key Club, Longboat Key
  • June 28 - The Preserve at Ironhorse, West Palm Beach
  • July 1 - Piper's Landing Yacht & Country Club, Palm City
  • July 2 - Black Diamond Ranch, Lecanto
  • July 2 - Plantation Bay Golf & Country Club, Ormond Beach

Entry Fees

  Qualifying Fee Championship Fee Exempt Fee
 Professional
120.00 250.00 320.00
 PGA, GCSAA & CMA Members 90.00 250.00  290.00 
 Amateur 100.00 150.00 220.00
  • Qualifying Fee: Qualifying Fee includes entry fee and course and cart fees, and range balls.
  • Championship Fee: Fee paid by those individuals who advance to the Championship through qualifying includes tee gifts, course and cart fees, range balls and lunch for each competitive round.
  • Exempt Fee : Exempt Fee includes Championship Fee and Entry Fee for those individuals eligible for exemption.

Entries for qualifying are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until the site field is full. Entries are then placed on an alternates list in order of receipt and contacted if, and when, a spot becomes available.

Late entries are subject to a $10 late entry fee should the entrant gain acceptance into the field.

The cost of a cart fee is included in the entry fee.
All players must ride and their bags must be on the cart.
Caddies are welcome but must walk and must not be a parent of the player.

Pre-Registration

Those individuals who advance to the Championship through qualifying must pre-register and remit the appropriate Championship Fee (See Above) online at www.fsga.org under the "My Account" section, which can be located in the top right hand corner of the web-page.  Payment must be received by Friday July 6th by 3:30 pm or the individual will be withdrawn from the Championship.  Championship fee includes competitive round lunches, golf, cart fees and range balls, player's badge, tee gift.

To Pre-Register:

  • Log on to the FSGA website at www.fsga.org using your email address and password
  • Click on "My Account" in the upper right hand corner of the homepage
  • Under "My Tournaments", click on the "Pre-Register" button to the right of the tournament name
  • Enter your credit card information and then click the "Charge My Card" button on the bottom right hand corner of the page

Refunds, Notice of Withdrawals

Requests for qualifying entry refunds received prior to entry closing date will be honored (less $20 per entry administrative fee). Requests received after the closing date will be honored (less 50% of entry fee). No requests will be honored within two days of the scheduled start date.

Requests for refunds of Exempt or Championship fees prior to the pre-registration deadline will be honored (less $20 per entry administrative fee). No requests will be honored after the pre-registration deadline.

Local Qualifying

18 holes stroke play at 16 Local Qualifying sites

Local Qualifying Purses 

A purse for professionals is being introduced at the local qualifiers. The average approximate purse is $1,000 and is determined by the amount of professionals who begin (tee off) at each qualifier. Click here to view the payout schedule.

A player exempt from local qualifying, at the time of entry, may elect to forego the exemption, pay the qualifying fee, and compete in a local qualifier. The election to waive the exemption is irreversible.

Transferring Qualifying Sites

Players may submit one entry for the Florida Open and choose the site at which they will attempt to qualify.  However, if any site requires adjustment (including, but not limited to, the receipt of more entries than can be accommodated), players will be transferred to another site based on their preference listed on the entry application and date of receipt of entry application (i.e. later applicants will be subject to transfer)

Schedule of Events 

Friday, July 13th

  • 7:30 AM - 9:18 AM - Round one tee times off of #1 and #10 on both the Copperhead and Island
  • Complimentary players' lunch in the main clubhouse

Saturday, July 14th

  • 7:30 AM - 9:18 AM - Round two tee times off of #1 and #10 on both the Copperhead and Island
  • Complimentary players' lunch in the main clubhouse
  • The field will be cut to low 60 players and ties after the completion of play

Sunday, July 15th

  • 7:30 AM - Final round tee times begin off of #1 and #10 on the Copperhead Course 
  • Complimentary players' lunch in the main clubhouse
  • Awards ceremony immediately following the completion of play 

Course Set-Up

The golf course will be set-up at approximately 7,000 yards.

Estimated Purse

$100,000 (see estimated purse pay-out)  1st Place - $15,000

Defending Champion

J.C. Deacon won the 71st Florida Open with a 13-under par total of 203  and won by one shot over fellow professional Matt Borchert. The University of Florida Head Coach walked away with not only the trophy to display in his office in Gainesville, but also a check for $15,000 that was awarded to the top finishing professional. 

Cart and Caddie Policy

During qualifying and the Championship proper, each player must use a golf cart which is included in the qualifying and Championship entry fees. Caddies are allowed without restriction (new for 2018). The caddie MUST walk and the player's clubs must remain on the golf cart. 

Championship Information

Play-Off

If necessary, there will be a hole-by-hole "sudden death" play-off for Champion. It is the player’s responsibility to be present for any playoff.

Practice Round Information

Practice rounds will be available to the competitors one week in advance of the competition on a space available basis.  Practice rounds are restricted to after 12:00 PM on the weekend prior to the Championship. The cost of practice rounds is $30 plus tax. Players will be responsible for direct payment of any fees for the practice rounds. Please call 727-942-2000 to schedule a practice round.

You may not make your practice round tee time before qualifying is completed. A list of players will be faxed to the club following the conclusion of qualifying. 

Exemptions

Players in the following categories will be eligible for exemption provided they meet all entry and eligibility requirements:

NOTE: Blank entries will be filed by the FSGA for players who become exempt after the close of entries.    

PROFESSIONALS
  • Last five year's Florida Open Champions
  • Professionals finishing top ten and tied from last year’s Florida Open Championship
  • Championship Host Clubs' Representative (may be an amateur)
  • Players qualified for the current year's U.S. Open Championship
  • Current year’s SFPGA Open Champion
  • Current year’s Fort Lauderdale Open Champion (Regular Division)
  • Players qualified for or exempt into the current year's PNC Championship
  • Last year's top ten and tied Dixie, NFPGA and SFPGA Section Championship finishers
  • Last year’s Dixie, NFPGA and SFPGA Section Senior (Regular Division) Champion
  • Last year's Dixie, NFPGA and SFPGA Section Chapter Champions
  • Last year’s top five and tied Dixie, NFPGA and SFPGA Section Assistant Championship finishers
  • Last year’s Dixie Section Match Play Championship Finalists
  • Current year’s NFPGA Section Match Play Champion Finalists
  • Last year's Florida Senior Open Champion
  • Last year's top five and tied from the final Dixie, NFPGA and SFPGA Section Player of the Year Points List
  • Last year’s Dixie, NFPGA and SFPGA Section Senior (Regular Division) Player of the Year
AMATEURS
  • Last five year's Florida Open Champions
  • Amateurs finishing top ten and tied from last year’s Florida Open Championship
  • Current and last two year’s Amateur Champions
  • Players qualified for the current year's U.S. Open Championship
  • Top 200 and tied from last year's final World Amateur Golf Rankings
  • Last year’s top five and tied Amateur Championship finishers
  • Last year’s top five and tied from the final FSGA Player of the Year Points List
  • Last year’s Junior Amateur Player of the Year
  • Last year’s Senior Amateur Player of the Year
  • Last year's Florida Senior Open Champion
  • Last year’s Boys Junior Champion (16-18 Age Division)
  • Last year’s Amateur Match Play Champion
  • Last year's Mid-Amateur Stroke Play Champion
  • Current year’s Mid-Amateur Champion

Exemptions Earned from this Tournament

Winner

  • Next five Florida Opens

Players finishing in the top ten and tied

  • Next year's Florida Open

Low Amateur

  • Next year's Mid-Amateur Championship
  • Next year's Amateur Championship
  • Next year's Amateur Match Play Championship

Amateurs finishing in the top five and tied

  • Next year's Amateur Championship

Other Policies

  • Spectators and Spectator Cart Policy -  Click here.
  • Caddies - Caddies are allowed in all FSGA Championships except Junior events. The caddie MUST walk and the player's clubs must remain on the golf cart. - Click here
  • Championship Pace of Play Policy - Click here.
  • Local Rules and Conditions of Competition - Click here.
  • Championship Policies - Click here to read the withdrawal, dress code, and other policies.
  • Procedures for Alternates - Click here for information on how alternates may gain entry into this Championship.
  • Conditions/ Schedule - The FSGA Championships Committee/on-site Rules Committee reserves the right to alter any of the conditions, provisions and/or schedules. The decision of the Championships Committee/on-site Rules Committee in any matter will be final.

Shirt Sponsor & Hat Sponsor

Cutter & Buck is the official shirt of the Florida Open Championship and Imperial will serve as the official head wear of the Florida Open.

Host Hotel and Accommodations

Innisbrook Resort & Club

Individual Call-In, based on availability. Call 1-855-778-4018 for Florida Open Room Block.

Deluxe Guest Room - $115
Executive Suite - $139
One Bedroom Suite - $189
Two Bedroom Suite - $289

All rates are subject to additional $24 resort fee and 13% tax

Hampton Inn - Tarpon Springs

39284 US Hwy 19
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
727-945-7755

$101 per room, per night, plus tax

Click here to book online.

Dress Code

Proper attire for competitors and caddies is required at all times at the golf facility.  Failure to comply may result in withdrawal of entry.

  • Golf Shorts are permitted
  • All hats must be worn properly.
  • Collared shirts or shirts specifically designed for golf must be worn and tucked in at all times.
  • This code supplements any course or club guidelines, which shall take precedence.

Refunds, Notice of Withdrawals

Requests for qualifying entry refunds received prior to entry closing date will be honored (less $20 per entry administrative fee). Requests received after the closing date will be honored (less 50% of entry fee). No requests will be honored within two days of the start of the tournament.

Requests for refunds of Exempt or Championship fees prior to the pre-registration deadline will be honored (less $20 per entry administrative fee). No requests will be honored after the per-registration deadline.

Publicity and Promotion; Broadcasting

By participating in FSGA Events you grant the FSGA and those acting with the FSGA, permission, authority and the permanent rights to use your name or likeness for publicity and promotional purposes. Participants understand that all Media, including film, photographic prints, audio or digital files are the exclusive property of the FSGA. Participants in FSGA events waive their rights to inspect or approve all media produced by the FSGA and those acting on the FSGA's behalf. Participants waive their permanent rights to compensation for use of their name and likeness by the FSGA.

Payment 

Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club accepts cash, Visa, MasterCard, and Amex for payment.

Directions

Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club 
36750 US Highway 19 North 
Palm Harbor, FL  34684
727-942-2000

Click here for directions to Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club 


 


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