By Craig Dolch, Special to SFPGA
West Palm Beach’s Michael Kartrude was determined to win his second E-Z-GO South Florida Open during the final round on Thursday, June 25.
Kartrude wasn’t bothered by the sizzling back-nine 30 shot by playing partner Alan Morin of Lake Worth. Kartrude responded with a 32 to win by stroke at 17-under 199 at Bonita Bay Club in Naples.
Kartrude also won in 2016.
“I stuck to what I needed to do,” Kartrude said. “I stayed focused on what I had to do. I made it so Alan had to come get me.”
The savvy of the 30-year-old PGA Professional at the Bear’s Club was evident throughout the event. Kartrude held a share of the lead after the first two rounds and secured the victory with four birdies in a six-hole stretch. He made 20 birdies against a bogey and a double bogey.
Earlier this year, Kartrude qualified for his first PGA Tour event, in the Dominican Republic – only to see the event in March postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. “I was like ‘Great!,’ then boom, it’s gone!” he said. The tournament has been rescheduled for Sept. 24-27.
At least they can’t take away Thursday’s win.
“It means a lot,” he said. “I’m just really hoping for a great summer of golf, not just for me but for all of golf. With everything that’s going on (with the virus), we just want to go out and do what we do best – play golf.”
Morin, a PGA Professional at The Falls Club, shared second place with amateur Austin Schultz (66) of Verandah Golf Club in Fort Myers.
“It was just a blah front nine,” said Morin, 51. “But I almost made a hole-in-one on 11, and that got things going. I was just trying to give him a fight.”