At AmateurGolf.com, we admit to loving the amateur sector of this game for the stories, the depth of the players, the remarkable courses, the history of the tournaments and the sheer love of the game displayed by amateur golfers. As 2018 comes to a close, we’ve gathered the year’s best stories for a countdown to the end of the season. Be sure to come back each day to relive the moments that made amateur golf great this year.
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Around the country with Joseph Deraney
When you’re on, you’re on, and when you know a course, you know a course. These were two contributing factors in the rare feat Joseph Deraney
, 35, accomplished in May when he won back-to-back amateur events in the span of six days.
Deraney’s week at the Carlton Woods Invitational and the Timuquana Cup could qualify him for golf’s version of the amazing race. He threw out rounds of 71-67-72 at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas, hopped a plane that Thursday afternoon of the final round, then teed it up at Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla., on Friday for the start of the 54-hole Timuquana Cup. Rounds of 70-70-72 followed, giving Deraney two trophies to cart back home to Lexington, Ky., on May 6.
“Typically when those (tournaments) run together – they have run together a couple years in a row – I end up only being gone only two more days, so I if can squeeze in another golf tournament, I will definitely try to do that,” Deraney said.
Deraney, a reinstated amateur, is a devoted full-time dad to three children. He makes his competition schedule each year only after the Deraney family maps out vacation time. For Deraney, like many mid-amateurs, family comes first and golf second.
To get from The Woodlands (outside Houston) to Jacksonville, Deraney had booked a regular flight that would have delivered him to the Florida coast late the night before the first round of the Timuquana Cup. But here’s where the story gets even better.
Related: Joseph Deraney wins the 13th Carlton Woods Invitational
Related: Joseph Deraney Stays Hot, Wins the Timuquana Cup
Fellow competitor Lawrence Field was doing the same double, and invited Deraney aboard his private plane. It not only got Deraney to Florida hours
earlier, but it gave him time to relax, celebrate his win and get to know Field (who was T-2 in the Carlton Woods Senior and fifth in the senior division of the Timuquana Cup, by the way) a little better.
Deraney took some time away from golf after testing out the mini tours, but has been a major figure on the mid-amateur circuit for the past three years. He downplayed his lack of a practice round at Timuquana.
“I’m fairly familiar with the golf course and comfortable there as well,” he said.
For one thing, he won the event in 2016 and was fourth in 2017. That gets to the heart of why he plays.
“I play to win,” he said. “I play to have fun, but the aspect I enjoy the most is the competition. I don’t show up to finish second.”
The goal is to win each of the major mid-amateur events he’s frequenting, and as Deraney reasons, the odds are good if he continues to tee it up in those events each year. He’s always looking to add new tournaments around the family schedule – in essence, he’s your basic competitive golf nut.
“If I give myself 10 shots at each tournament, maybe I can grab one victory at each place,” he said.
Canadian Mid-Am spoils
Outside of the Carlton Woods Invitational and two Timuquana Cup victories, Deraney also won the Stocker Cup and the Lupton Invitational in 2016. He is a two-time Kentucky Mid-Amateur champion (the Deraneys recently moved to Mississippi, so he’ll compete in a different state beginning in 2019).
The Canadian Mid-Amateur, which Deraney won this summer with a spectacular closing 65, falls into a totally different category. That earns him an exemption into the 2019 RBC Canadian Open. Somewhat surprisingly, it will be his first Tour start.
Deraney is certainly a player to watch as the calendar turns.