PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Sonny Skinner of Sylvester, Ga., made a two-putt par on the first playoff hole Tuesday to win the opening event of the 34th annual PGA Tournament Series. It was Skinner’s third Tournament Series victory, all coming on opening day, the last two years on the Wanamaker Course at PGA Golf Club and in 2006 on the adjacent Ryder Course.
Skinner and Adam Rainaud of South Hadley, Mass., had tied at eight under par 136. The latter closed with the low round of the tournament, a 66 with three birdies on each nine, then losing when he made his only bogey of the day in overtime, at the par-4 18th.
“I knew I was in trouble when Sonny hit his tee shot into the fairway in the playoff hole,” Rainaud said. An assistant at Orchards Golf Club, Rainaud, 24, drove into a fairway bunker, hit the lip of the bunker with his second shot and watched as the ball careened across the fairway and into a lake After taking his drop, Rainaud hit the green and sank a 12-foot putt for bogey.
“He made me make that three footer to win,” smiled Skinner, 50, who two-putted from 25 feet for the victory. A teaching professional at River Pointe Golf Club in Albany, Ga., Skinner, 50, made four bogeys in 36 holes, two each day, all by three-putting. “I still feel I played pretty well,” with an eagle Monday and five birdies each day for 67-69. “I was eight under par after 12 holes today, bogeyed 13 and 14, then birdied 15 and 16.”
Gary Trivisonno of Aurora, Ohio, who had shared the first round lead with Skinner and Simon McGreal of Greensboro, N.C., bogeyed the final hole for 70-137. He had birdied Nos.15, 16 and 17 and overall made seven birdies and five bogeys. McGreal closed with 78-145 to miss the money list by a stroke. He had a triple bogey at the par-4 14th hole, two birdies, three bogeys and a double.
There were 54 starters and a purse of $13,500 for the first of six events this season. Skinner earned $2,700. Play moves to the nearby PGA Country Club Thursday and Friday.
PGA of America Tournament Series
PGA GC, Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Wanamaker Course, 7,000 yards, par 72, Nov. 29-30
Sonny Skinner, Sylvester, Ga., $2,700 67-69—136
Adam Rainaud, South Yardley, Mass., $1,950 70-66—136
Skinner won playoff, par-4 on first extra hole.
Gary Trivisonno, Aurora, Ohio, $1,225 67-70—137
Charles Meola, Mamaroneck, N.Y,, $858.33 69-69—138
Dwayne Randall, Findley Lake, N.Y., $858.33 68-70—138
Blanton Ressin, Vail, Colo., $858.33 68-70—138
Mark Brown, Glen Head, N.Y., $675 69-70—139
Ken Martin, Wellington, $560 72-68—140
Mike San Filippo, Hobe Sound, $560 71-69—140
Jeff Sorenson, Blaine, Minn., $560 70-70—140
Bill Murchison, Canton, Ga., $560 69-71—140
Chris Borgen, Eagan, Minn., $455 72-70—142
Mike Smith, Titusville, $455 72-70—142
Colin McKern, Hoover, Ala., $412.50 71-72—143
Frank Bensel, Purchase, N.Y., $412.50 68-75—143
Rick Schuller, Chester, Va., $100 74-70—144
Devin Gee, Oakmont, Pa., $100 71-73—144
Frank Dully, Salem, Mass., $100 69-75—144
Mark Faulkner, Marion, Ill., $100 68-76—144