Minnesota Golf Association

Brellenthin Posts a Second 72, Now Waits as Clubhouse Leader at Weather-Shortened MGA Senior Amateur

August 24, 2021

 
By Nick Hunter
nick@mngolf.org
 
 
  MINNEAPOLIS – A pair of late birdies lifted John Brellenthin to a second straight round of 1-under 72 Tuesday at the Minikahda Club as Brellenthin takes the clubhouse lead at the 100th Minnesota Golf Association Senior Amateur Championship.
 
Severe weather delayed the start of the second round by more than four hours Tuesday, with the morning wave of tee times finishing the second round, while Tuesday’s afternoon session will play its second round early Wednesday, shortening the championship to 36 holes.
 
Brellenthin, winner of the 2018 Minnesota Senior Open at Dakota Pines Golf Club, is now forced to await his fate as half the field has yet to play a second round.
 
“The course played great today and I was really surprised that the greens weren’t slower than they were,” Brellenthin said following his round Tuesday. “I hit it way past the hole on 10 and 11 and three-putted my first two holes, so it’s a testament to superintendent and the grounds crew here.”
 
A pair of bogeys beginning his round from the 10th tee Tuesday dropped the 57-year-old Brellenthin to 1-over for the championship, but he would close out his front nine with a string of three consecutive birdies to reach 2-under.
 
Wedging his approach inside of six feet at both the 15th and 16th, Brellenthin converted both birdie chances before dropping a 12-footer at the 17th.
 
“They redid the greens three or four years ago and they’re a lot different,” Brellenthin said. “I can’t go off of memory, so the whole home-course advantage thing is kind of interesting.
 
“I three-putted the first two holes, but 15, 16 and 17, not only did I make birdie, but all three putts went right in the center of the hole. It gives you confidence that you’re reading it right and hitting it right.”
 
Back-to-back bogeys at the fifth and sixth holes dropped Brellenthin to even par for the tournament, but he’d get help again by his putter late in the round, sinking a pair of birdie chances from more than 20 feet at the seventh and eighth holes to record his second round of 72.
 
“I hit all 18 greens today. I’m not complaining at all—72 is a good score and I’m very happy,” he said. “I’ve been a member here since I’ve been alive and I’m not sure I’ve hit 18 greens before.
 
“I’ll be very happy. We play as kids and play in college and never won the [State Amateur], so the [Senior Amateur] is something you dream of winning. I don’t expect to win, but I’d be very ecstatic if I do.”
 
When the final half of the field tees off Wednesday, Brellenthin’s 2-under 144 will be chased by 18-hole co-leader Carl Horsch, who sits one shot back, as well as four-time champion Jim Lehman and Bob Neuberger, who finished the opening round at even par 73 Monday.

James Ryan, from Hazeltine National Golf Club, claimed medalist honors in the Masters Division (65 and older), shooting a 36-hole tally of 5-over 151 to defeat defending overall champion Leif Carlson and Bill Anderson by one stroke.
 
Building on a two-stroke lead following Monday’s opening round, John Wells, of Olympic Hills Golf Club, fired a final-round 78 to claim medalist honors in the 75-and-over Grand Master Division, earning a three-stroke victory over Tim Anderson at 11-over 157.

The 100th MGA Senior Amateur Championship concludes Wednesday, with final-round tee times beginning at 8 a.m.

 

Morning Starting Times are playing Tuesday afternoon. Afternoon times are playing Wednesday morning. All competitions are 36 holes.

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