Florida pro needs four extra holes to win Advocates PGA Tour at Sugarloaf

Cole Smith (L) the executive director of the Advocates PGA Tour presents the winning check to Toks Pedro after his victory at TPC Sugarloaf on June 21, 2022.

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Cole Smith (L) the executive director of the Advocates PGA Tour presents the winning check to Toks Pedro after his victory at TPC Sugarloaf on June 21, 2022.

After burning the edge on the first playoff hole, Toks Pedro was just hoping for another opportunity to make something that mattered. Three holes later his perseverance paid off.

Pedro rolled in an eight-footer for birdie on the fourth extra hole to win a four-way playoff and capture the Advocates PGA Tour at TPC Sugarloaf on Tuesday.

Pedro, from Orlando, had to birdie the final two holes to offset a pair of back-to-back double bogeys and shoot a 71. That was good enough to get him in the playoff at 2-under 142, along with Jarred Garcia of Jacksonville, Joseph Hooks of Farmington Hills, N.Y., and first-round leader Wyatt Worthington of Reynoldsburg, Ohio.

All players made par on the first two holes, but Pedro and Hooks made birdies on No. 12 to make it a two-man game. Both drove the par-4 13th, with Pedro able to chip up and convert the winning birdie opportunity. No one seemed to mind the exclamatory fist pump. He earned $7,500 for the win.

“I feel like in practice I’ve been playing the best golf of my life,” Pedro said. “My golf swing feels like it’s in a better place than it’s ever been, but I just haven’t been able to put it together in competition. I was able to start doing that this week, and I had moments where I didn’t have my best, but I was able to grind it out, stay focused on the goal.”

Pedro graduated from Rutgers, played in the U.S. Amateur and turned pro in 2019. He qualified for the PGA Tour China and played a full season there. He was planning to return when COVID-19 happened and forced him to change plans. Since then he’s been competing in various mini-tours and trying to get through PGA Q School.

“I feel like with all the experiences I’ve had and every tournament I’ve played, I’m learning every day and getting better,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of great things to come.”

Tied for fifth at even par, two shots out of the playoff, were Californian Michael Herrera and Davin White of McDonough. Tied for seventh at 1-over 145 were Landon Lyons of Louisiana and Tim O’Neal of Savannah. Defending champion Willie Mack tied for 12th. First Tee of Atlanta product Marcus Byrd tied for 15th.

The Advocates Tour was created in 2010 to bring more diversity to golf by hosting and conducting professional golf tournaments, player-developmental programs and mentoring programs. The tour has grown from seven events, with $200,000 in prize money, in 2020 to 18 events, with more than $700,000 in prize money, this year.

The PGA Tour has made many of its courses in the TPC network available for the Advocates PGA Tour and has provided some ground support for the tour.

“This is a great tour. Great players, great golf courses,” Pedro said. “It gives us an opportunity to compete and play awesome courses. The only thing you can ask for as a professional is a chance, an opportunity, and I hope I can continue to play and play and play.”