|"Westchester Golfer Wins Brooklyn Open"|
The professional division was won by Jonathan Renza, some young dude from Westchester County and a former Rutgers golf team member. It's no surprise that a standout collegiate player won, but what's a little surprising is that he had never seen Marine Park G.C. prior to Saturday's tournament. And with an impressive 5-under round of 67, he also beat the previous tournament record score by two strokes like it was no big deal.
Afterwards, an emotional Renza pontificated on his accomplishment: "It’s golf. You just have to get the ball in the hole as quickly as possible." On his winning strategy: "It’s an awesome course and I kind of winged it. I didn’t know where the trouble spots were because this was my first time seeing it."
On second thought, it's not surprising that an out-of-towner could just swoop in sight unseen and take home a Brooklyn Open title. It's not like Marine Park sees a lot of tournament professionals passing through its doors outside of this event. Last year's winner had barely any more experience on the course than Renza. So I don't think local knowledge factors much at all in the pro division. I'm willing to bet that Jon Renza, as with all the players who finished under par for that matter: has a great swing, drives it long, flushes his irons and has his days on the greens.
Renza's banner win confirms what I've been suspecting for some time: course management, strategy, local knowledge... all these things amount to jack-squat! They are mostly-imaginary concepts for rank amateurs to occupy themselves with in the hope of shaving one or two pathetic strokes off their bloated rounds. Come on people. Excellence in golf is a function of consistently and accurately striking the damn ball. Any other explanation is jive talk.
In the amateur 14 to 18.9 handicap division, Valley Stream, Long Island's own Vijay Singh fired a tidy 86 to win by two over Greg Viana and Brooklyn's Matt Spitzer, who evidently took inspiration from playing in the same group as last year's T2 finisher (me).