LORTON, VA (September 24, 2017) - Michael Brennan could be excused for wanting to take Laurel Hill Golf Club’s
18th hole home with him after he birdied it twice within a half-hour of each
other — regulation and one-hole playoff — to win the 111th Middle Atlantic
Amateur on a sunny, warm fall day, September 24. In the process, the 15-year-old
became the tournament’s youngest champion, surpassing 2013 winner Mark Lawrence,
who was 16.
Related: Another 15-year-old On Top at the Middle Atlantic Amateur
Related: Middle Atlantic Amateur: 15-Year-Old Leads By Three Shots
While 15-year-olds Brennan and Gordan Brixi (this year’s youngest entry), along with
Kevin Johnson, 17, of Bethesda, were around the lead all week, it was Scott
Shingler, 45, from Haymarket, Va., who crashed the teenagers’ party. Brennan and
Shingler closed with 2-under-par 69’s to send the event overtime.
They had started the final tied at 210, four shots behind leader Brixi, but that
margin was gone after nine holes and Brixi was gone after he double-bogeyed 13
and bogeyed 14.
Shingler, just off the pace earlier with three straight 70’s, stayed in
contention by going 1-under par through nine, then used birdies at 15-16 (while
Brennan was making bogey at 14 and 16) to forge a two stroke lead.
The two-stroke gap was erased on the 562-yard 18th, however, as Brennan made
birdie and Shingler, bogey. They played 18 again and Shingler was in trouble
after driving into a bunker and then, when his foot slipped, into a hazard. By the time he reached the green, Brennan had hit drive, played it safe with an approach shot, and struck a 93-yard 56-degree wedge shot to a foot of the cup to set up a tap-in for the victory.
“At 18 the first time, I knew I had to make birdie,” Brennan said. “I hit driver, 3-wood and almost made the [eagle] putt. The second time, he hit a good shot to the green and, again, I knew I had to make birdie. Overall, I was pretty aggressive, especially at the start. I wanted to be within two at the turn and as it worked out, we were tied. I hit some quality shots to greens and took advantage of them.” For the front nine, he got into the game by hitting all nine greens and taking 14 putts.
On Monday, it will be back to Tuscarora High School in Leesburg, where he is a sophomore, “I missed three days last week and have State High School [golf] regionals Tuesday, so I’ll have a lot of work to make up,” said the winner, with a boyish grin.
ABOUT THE Middle Atlantic Amateur
54-hole stroke play championship. The field is cut to
the low 60 scores and ties after round two. Open to
members of member clubs of the Middle Atlantic
Association, and by invitation.
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