John Somers wins event No. 1 of PGA Tournament Series in five-way playoff

Craig Dolch
Special to PGA of America

Series: PGA

Published: Friday, November 30, 2018 | 6:40 p.m.

PORT ST. LUCIE –  John Somers’ prodigious length off the tee helped him make short work of a five-man playoff Friday in Event No. 1 of the PGA Tournament Series.
While the other four players laid up on the 348-yard first hole at the Dye Course at PGA Golf Club, Somers chose driver and hit it over the green.
That’s right, over the green. We’re talking 380 yards.
“I should have hit 3-wood,” Somers said when he saw where his ball stopped.
Somers chipped to 3 feet and made the putt to win after Rod Perry, Mike Ballo, David Abolt and Chris Black failed to birdie the hole. It was his first start in the PGA Tournament Series for the PGA Professional from The Eagles Golf Club near Tampa.
“I’ve always been able to hit the ball a long way,” said the 6-foot, 195-pound left-hander. “I hit a 2-iron during regulation and ended up in a bunker, so I figured I’d hit driver.”
The other four players shook their heads in amazement when they realized where Somers hit his drive in the playoff.
“That’s something I’ve never seen before,” Perry said. “That was 340 (yards) in the air.”
“That’s how you win a playoff,” Abolt said.
Somers shot a 1-under 71 to finish at 4-under 140, where he was joined by Perry (70), Black (69), Ballo (70) and Abolt (72). The victory earned Somers $5,000.
Dick Mast (71) was alone in sixth at 3-under 141.
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