ROCHELLE — Thomas Brennan entered the 6th Annual Fairways Golf Championship this past weekend seeking to defend his title after winning the event last year. While Brennan wasn’t atop the leaderboard after the first 18 holes of play, a strong finish catapulted him to first place when the 54-hole championship concluded on Sunday.
Brennan won the championship flight by shooting a 3-under-par 195, edging out runner-up finisher Josh Johnson (9-over-par 207) and third-place winner Jon Woeppel (14-over-par 212). David Shaw took fourth place with a 17-over-par 215. Brennan, who has now won the championship three times in his career, scored 68 before dominating the next 36 holes of competition with scores of 61 and 66.
“It feels good to win for a second year in a row,” Brennan said. “I feel like this was probably the most solid overall golf I’ve played compared to my other wins at this tournament. The other years, I had to grind it out in order to win, but this year I felt more in control and more comfortable with my game over all three rounds.”
Brennan, who coaches golf at Hannibal-LaGrange University in Hannibal, Missouri, said his putting and his driving were the keys to victory this past weekend.
“I hit my driver really well,” Brennan said. “That gave me a lot of opportunities to be aggressive. I was able to make a lot of my putts and that gave me a decent cushion to work with. I never felt worried about holding on to my lead. I felt like I was able to continue making birdies and extending my lead.”
Brennan also said the course layout encouraged him to be more aggressive. With faster greens and different pin locations than previous Fairways championships, Brennan capitalized on his aggressive play to create better chances around the hole.
“They tucked the pins in a little bit,” Brennan said. “I play the club championship a little differently than I would a normal round out there. It’s tougher so I need to be a little more aggressive so I can have better angles into some pins… If I can get close to the hole with my drives, I feel I have a better chance than I would if I laid up.”
Tim Duncan won the A Flight during the Fairways championship this past weekend, shooting a 29-over-par 227 with 18-hole scores of 77, 76 and 74. Duncan outpaced Garrett Glosser, who took second with a 34-over-par 232 (76, 74 and 82), for his second A Flight title in a row.
“It was nice to go back-to-back,” Duncan said. “I hope to get into the championship flight next year. I enjoyed playing alongside Garrett and it was also nice to have John Gleissner on the bag for me… He helped me out a lot. My chipping around the greens was very consistent and it got me out of trouble on a few holes.”