Julian Suri wanted to make sure his wrist and mindset were ready for a six-week grind on the European Tour later this month by playing in the Advocates Pro Golf Association event at World Golf Village’s Slammer & Squire.
He learned quickly both are in great shape.
Suri birdied his second hole in a playoff with Patrick Newcomb on Friday, July 10, to win $7,500 of pocket money for his upcoming trip to England.
“It’s been awhile,” the soft-spoken professional who lives at Ponte Vedra Beach said. “But it was good golf. I made a bunch of putts when they counted.”
Suri, who turned professional in 2013, tied the Slammer & Squire course record on Thursday with a 10-under 62. He closed with a 5-under 67, which included a wild final three holes. He eagled the par-5 16th and bogeyed No. 17 after hitting his second shot in the water. A birdie at 18 forced a playoff with Newcomb, who birdied the final three holes for an 8-under 64.
Both finished at 15-under 129. They halved the first hole in sudden death with a par, and Suri won it with a 12-foot birdie on 186-yard, par-3 second hole.
“I came out on Friday with the same plan [as Thursday’s 62]. I knew I had to make birdies,” Suri said. “Pars weren’t going to get you anything. There were a million birdies out there.”
The APGA is backed by the PGA TOUR, and it provides playing opportunities for aspiring minority golfers. Suri is an American with Indian and Mexican heritage.
Suri had bone spurs removed from his wrist in December. He worked through months of rehabilitation, only to have his return derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.
Tim O’Neal (64-67) finished third, while Tommy Schaff (67-65) was fourth, followed by Domenico Geminiani (69-66) in fifth and Kamaiu Johnson (69-67) and Kelby Burton (68-68) were tied for sixth.
Mulbe Dillard (72-74) was the low amateur, while his Florida A&M teammate Mahindra Lutchman (76-71) was second.
The APGA was created by former PGA TOUR player Adrian Sills and Ken Bentley, a retired vice president of community affairs and workforce diversity for Nestle USA. The mission of the tour is to develop players with professional tournaments, mentoring sessions and the Charlie Sifford Player Development Program.
Former APGA players include Tony Finau, Harold Varner III and Joseph Bramlett.
J.P. Thornton, who was tied for 14th at 3-under-par at Slammer & Squire, won at TPC Sugarloaf three weeks ago when the tour made its return following the pandemic shutdown.
The APGA stayed in Florida with a 36-hole event July 13-14 at Dubsdread Golf Course in Orlando.