Sarasota Golf Momentum

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It’s good to have you here. My name is Mike Duranko, and I live in Sarasota. We’re having a bit of a Sarasota Golf moment, and I thought I’d share a few of the details with you. Enjoy.

This is the first week of May 2024, and lots of exciting things are happening for Sarasota golfers.  

Scott Dunlap – Sarasota Golfer

I’m gonna start with this past weekend, Sarasota’s own Scott Dunlap won the Insperity Invitational at the Woodlands near Houston.  This is a Champions Tour event that was shortened to 36 holes due to rain. But a win is a win.

This is Dunlap’s second win on the Champions Tour; his last win was 10 years ago in Seattle. Dunlap learned the game at Bobby Jones GC; I think he grew up across the street. He was on the Golf Team at the University of Florida for the Gators and turned pro after he graduated.  Here is a link to a complete course review of Bobby Jones GC.

He played on a variety of tours and on the PGA Tour.  In 2000, 24 years ago at the PGA Championship at Valhalla, Dunlap had a great run.  He opened with a 66 and was the 1st round leader with Tiger Woods.  And he was only 1 back of Tiger at the start of the Final round.  His 75 was good for 9th, his best in a major.  The PGA is back at Valhalla in a few weeks.  

Dunlap is an active member at SaraBay Country Club, playing in many of the member games. He has the course record, a 63. Here, he is donating a signed tour bag that is in the SaraBay ProShop. Well done, Scott.

Nelly Korda – Sarasota Golf Moment

You can’t talk about golf anywhere in the world without getting to Nelly Korda.  She is on a heater of heaters, winning her last 5 events on the LPGA Tour in a row, and this weekend she is going for number 6 at the Cognizant Founders Cup at Upper Montclair CC in New Jersey.  Go, Nelly!

She plays out of Concession Golf Club east of here, but she is also a member at SaraBay. We don’t have the practice facilities that Concession has, but she is out on SaraBay often. While I have not met Nelly, I am an admitted ‘Fanboy’ and have heard countless comments about how sweet, humble, and kind Nelly Korda is.  

Nelly grew up here in Sarasota/Bradenton, following her sister Jessica to the LPGA Tour.  I know they both competed in the Junior City Championships at Bobby Jones GC. Here is a link to the post on Bobby Jones GC reopening.

Nelly is the defending Olympic gold medalist in Golf and I hope she brings more gold home to Sarasota.

Earlier this year, Nelly won the LPGA Drive On Championship at Bradenton CC.  Nelly won in dramatic fashion beating Lydia Ko in a playoff.  Local girl wins LPGA title at home. How great is that for Sarasota?

Lecom Suncoast Classic Sarasota Golf Event

Sarasota hosted a Korn Ferry Tour event last month, the Lecom Suncoast Classic at Lakewood National Golf Club in Lakewood Ranch.  The big news was the 15-year-old Miles Russell made not only the cut but posted 2 66s during the tourney.  Sweden’s Tim Widing won the always exciting Tour stop.  And then won again the next week on the Korn Ferry tour in Texas

Erik Barnes

A Korn Ferry alumni, Erik Barnes is playing his sort of rookie year on the PGA Tour. He was out last year with an injury but came on this year and in March at the Puerto Rico Open, Barnes lost on the 4th playoff hole to Brice Garnett.  Fantastic.  

Barnes plays out of the Lakewood Ranch Country Club, I think, but I have been lucky enough to play with Eric over at SaraBay.  Humble family man and a beast on the golf course.  Someone else from sarasota to pull for on the PGA Tour.  Hopefully, we will hear more about Erik for years to come.

Paul Azinger

Another Sarasota native and someone still living here is Paul Azinger, the Ryder Cup captain. He led Team USA to a win at the Ryder Cup in 2008, again at Valhalla GC in Kentucky. 

Zinger moved to Sarasota when he was 10 years old and I think learned the game here in Sarasota. I know he played a lot of golf at Bobby Jones Golf Club growing up.  

Miakka Golf Club Groundbreaking April 25 2024

He is part of a new project that broke ground last month: the Miakka Golf Club. This golf course is expected to be a game-changer. The owner is local businessman Steve Herrig, who also created the TerraNova Equestrian Center nearby. Herrig is leaning on Azinger’s golf knowledge and has put together world-class talent at every level of the project. Here is a link to a post for the Ground Breaking.

Expectations are high, and Miakka Golf Club is going to raise the flag of Sarasota golf even higher.  Two local gents putting Sarasota on the golf map.  Thank you.

Worlc Champions Cup

Lastly, six months ago, in December, the inaugural World Champions Cup was played at Concession Golf Club. This is the Champions Tour version of the Ryder Cup. The format is a little bit different: Three teams play nine-hole matches: Team USA, Team Europe, and Team International. 

World Champions Cup golf team competition Champions Tour

Captains Jim Furyk, Darren Clarke, and Ernie Els were joined by legends of the game Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh, Steve Stricker, and Justin Leonard to name but a few. 

The event was well attended, and they’ve announced plans to return to Concession GC later this year. Go if you missed it last year. So, one more golf pin is planted in the Sarasota golf community.  

Before I go, IMG Academy is based here in the area and they always have a lot of golf things going on.

The Leadbetters

David Ledbetter lives here and is always making news somewhere in the golf world, and his daughter Hally Leadbetter, Sarasota-born and bred, is always cooking up some clever golf content to amuse.  Nice going Leadbetters.  

I’m sure I missed a few things, let me know.  But I wanted to recognize all the cool golf stuff going on in the Sarasota Golf Orbit at the moment.  Thank you.

And thank you to Dianne Glass for helping me stage these videos.  And to Collars & Co. for this perfect collar. 


Golftoons is a scheme between two golf buddies, Michael Duranko and Marty Glass. If this side hustle makes any money, they‘re gonna blow it on a golf trip. Check out our Etsy Shop for GolfToons Merchandise. Enjoy


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