- Ricardo Rolon/The News-Press photo
High school junior Caleb Surratt carded rounds of 69-72-72 to claim first place honors at the 25th annual Terra Cotta Invitational at Naples National Golf Club in Naples, Fla.
Surratt, who attends Union Academy Charter School in Monroe, N.C., and has verbally committed to NC State to continue his golf career, began the final round tied for first place at -3 (141) with Cohen Trolio of West Point, Miss. While Trolio struggled out of the blocks in the final round, carding three bogeys in his first ten holes, Surratt was two under on the front side. Trolio would go on to finish tied for third after a final round 76.
Surratt and Trolio were joined by Maxwell Ford (Peachtree Corners, Ga.) in the final group. At the turn, Surratt was up by three, but following bogeys on the 13th and 15th holes, he fell into a tie with Ford, who will play his college golf next year at the University of Georgia. But Ford boegeyed the final three holes, while Surratt played them even, bogeying the par 4 16th, parring the par 3 17th, and finishing strong with a birdie on the final hole, the par 5 18th, to claim the Invitational title by three strokes.
"It was definitely a tough finish for all of us — the wind started getting up," Surratt told the Naples Daily News. "It's a great finish with a birdie on 18; it felt really good. I've been working really hard for a long time and been close a lot of times, and it feels great to finally get it done."
Surratt was the only golfer in the 70-player field to finish under par for the tournament, holding at least a share of the lead after all three tournament rounds. His first round 3-under 69 tied for the tournament low round for any golfer, with Pinehurst N.C.’s Jackson Van Paris, and France’s Pierre Viallaneix.
Surratt joins a long list of winners of the Terra Cotta Invitational, including current PGA TOUR Players Matt Kuchar (1997), Peter Uihlein (2007), Justin Thomas (2010) and Emiliano Grillo (2011).
Next up for Surratt will be an attempt to qualify for his “hometown” PGA Tour event, the Wells Fargo Championship, held at Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte, N.C. He’ll then try to defend his individual title at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association State 1A Championships, which he won as a freshman in 2019.
ABOUT THE Terra Cotta Invitational
54-hole stroke play tournament with no cut.
Caddies are required. A Sponsor/Contestant
tournament is held before the event.
The Terra Cotta is an invitational. However,
encourage applications and players can submit
golf resume for consideration.
View Complete Tournament Information