It’s amazing Zac Oakley has averaged 64 in his last three rounds while winning the last two events in the PGA Tournament Series.
But what’s mind-boggling is Oakley of Palm City, Florida, has gone this low despite shooting a 1-over 37 on his front nine in Thursday’s first round of Event No. 4 at PGA Golf Club.
Oakley brushed off that 37 like it was a fly, closing with a 7-under 29 to move within two shots of the lead. Oakley took it from there Friday, firing a scintillating 9-under 62 on the Ryder Course to win Event No. 4 by a shot over Tyler Collet. Oakley finished at 14-under 128 to earn $5,000.
“I was playing well, then I triple-bogeyed a par-3 (Thursday) and that got me really mad,” said Oakley, a PGA Teaching Professional at Bidermann Golf Club in Wilmington, Delaware, who also caddies at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach during the winter. “I’m usually even keel whether I’m playing good or bad, but that got me going. I just kept rolling the ball.
“I hadn’t been playing well after the first two events, so I called up some video of Tiger Woods putting online. I tried to mimic his rhythm of the stroke, to release the toe and let the ball roll.”
Now it’s Oakley who is on a roll. He has played his last 55 holes in 24-under, including a birdie on the first playoff hole Tuesday to beat Brett Walker in Event No. 3. No wonder Oakley recently won Philadelphia PGA Player of the Year after setting that section’s all-time scoring mark at 68.9.
It’s almost expected for him to be at the top of the leaderboard. Said Oakley: “I was talking to my (13-year-old) daughter Alexa the other night, and she nonchalantly said, ‘Keep playing good.’ I said, ‘You got it.’ I had her in the back of my mind during this tournament.”
Collet, a PGA Assistant Professional at John’s Island Club in Vero Beach, led after an opening 66 and increased his lead by playing his first four holes in 4-under. He made four more birdies but also a couple bogeys, finishing with a 65, and that was enough for Oakley to take home another trophy.
Dylan Newman of New Rochelle, New York, who has won the last two money titles, shot 63 and finished third at 11-under 131. Frank Bensel (68) of Jupiter was fourth at 8-under 134.
Five players tied for fifth at 7-under 135: Jake Scott (64) of Strongsville, Ohio, Davil Abolt (67) of Cuba, Missouri, Peter Kampmann (67) of Riverside, Connecticut, Loretta Giovannettone (67) of Jupiter, Florida, and Kevin Flack (70 of Belvidere, Illinois.
The PGA Tournament Series is Presented by GOLF ADVISOR.