92nd Sherman Invitational tees off after hurricane hiatus

LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The longest running amateur golf tournament in the region is keeping the streak alive.

Matt Johnson tees off during the final round.

The third and final round of the 92nd Sherman Invitational teed off Sunday at Panama Country Club.

Normally the event is played in May, but the course was closed for substantial hurricane repairs until until August 2019.

"Right after the hurricane, we didn't think there was any way we'd be playing golf by now," tournament chairman and six-time champion Mike Riley admitted. "Our staff has done an outstanding job with Pat O'Brien leading the charge to get the golf course back together. We lost 5,000 trees. It was just a monster job to get the trees off the course, but they've done a fabulous job getting the course into great shape."

The field touted 97 players and four former champions among them, including Matt Johnson. The Dothan native entered the final round with a three stroke lead, doubling it by day's end to win by six shots and join Riley as a six-time champion.

The 93rd Sherman Invitational will be played as scheduled in May.

"We're back to playing golf in Lynn Haven again after all the trouble we've had," Riley added. "We've had a great response from the locals. All the targets you used to use to line up and hit your tee shots are no longer there, but the greens are perfect. The fairways are in great shape. Just a little bit of cleanup off the beaten path is all we're lacking to have a championship golf course here."

Full scores from all divisions are attached. Winners in each division are:

Championship: Matt Johnson
Open: Kit Hatcher
Senior: Andrew Rowell
Super Senior: Mike Brown
Legend: Gerald Johnson

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