By Sharon Aron Baron
Jupiter’s Daniel Berger completed his march to victory in the 82nd Dixie Amateur Friday, posting one of only four scores under par at Heron Bay Golf Club. His final round 70, 22-under par 265 total was 13 shots ahead of playing companion Tom Loveland.
Berger, who birdied the first four holes of the tournament earlier in the week to take command of the event right from the start, never was less than seven shots ahead of the field on a day in which South Florida’s first cold front of the season came through, dropping temperatures 20 degrees in 25-30 mile per hour winds.
“I knew it was not feasible for anyone to shoot 63 today,” the Florida State University sophomore said after accepting the trophy. “My attitude today made it a damage control round and try to make as many pars as I could.”
Richard Werenski of South Hadley, Mass., slipped into third place after his 71, 279 total edged Trey Mullinax, fourth at 280.
Loveland and Mullinax, both from the Birmingham, Ala., area, and University of Alabama teammates, played in the final group with Berger but with the strong winds and never were able to mount an attack, closing with a pair of 74s.
“I really wasn’t nervous at all today,” said Berger, who had only four bogeys all week, two in the final round. His chip-in for par after a poor second shot on number 12 made it a bit easier for him to breathe. “I was probably looking at bogey or doubled at that point, but I chipped it in for par, and that’s when I kind of knew I was going to win.”
According to Berger’s father, Jay, a former touring professional tennis player, the Dixie is Daniel’s first big amateur victory. However, he did win the U.S. Amateur Sectional Qualifying tournament earlier in 2012 at Weston Hills Country Club in western Broward County.
All week, Heron Bay was giving up low numbers, but it is an entirely different course when the wind comes up. The best round of the day was just a 69 posted by David Erdy of Bloomington, Ind.
The Dixie was contested on three ClubLink courses. The players completed one round at Heron Bay in Coral Springs, Woodlands Country Club in Tamarac, and Palm Aire Country Club in Pompano Beach before the 54-hole cut brought 73 players back for a second go-round at Heron Bay.
For complete final round results, please visit www.dixieamateur.com.
- Editor of Talk Media and writer for Coral Springs Talk. CST was created in 2012 to provide News, Views, and Entertainment for the residents of Coral Springs and the rest of South Florida.
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