Johnson's closing 65 wins Florida Open
Caleb Johnson of Ocala, Fla., captured the 68th Florida Open after posting a tournament total of 12-under-par 204 at The Bonita Bay Club in Naples on July 18-20. Johnson’s rounds of 68-71-65 gave him a two shot victory over second-place finishers Matt Borchert of Windermere, Fla., and Tyler Hock of Ocala, who both finished at 206.
To say that Johnson knows how to take advantage of an opportunity is an understatement. Johnson, who works as a cart guy at Ocala National, was the first-alternate after failing in his qualifying attempt on June 30th.
Just one week ago, Johnson got the call that he would have a spot in the field when his GM at Ocala National, who was exempt, had to withdraw.
“It’s the biggest victory I’ve won by far,” said Johnson a 22-year old Muskegon, Mich., native who moved to Florida nine months ago to work on his game and give it a go as a professional golfer.
“It means a lot obviously; that’s why I moved down here,” Johnson said. “I wanted to focus on golf while I’m really into it. At this point, I wanted to see if I can make a career out of it. It’s a big confidence booster and, hopefully, this will open up some doors for me.”
After posting a two-round total of 139, Johnson found himself in the final pairing just three shots off Hock's overnight lead.
Cutting Hock’s lead to two shots, what happened on the final seven holes for Johnson was pretty special. Johnson would put together a string of four straight birdies on Nos. 12-15 – and cap it off with a final birdie on No. 18 for a final-round 65 as he claimed his first professional victory. Along with the trophy came a $12,000 check.
Johnson’s name on the trophy goes alongside such greats as Bob Murphy, Gary Koch, Bruce Fleisher, John Huston, Dudley Hart and Bart Bryant who have used this tournament as a stepping-stone to the PGA Tour.