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Westchester Golfer Wins Brooklyn Open

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Jonathan Renza carded four consecutive birdies on his way to winning the 3rd Annual Brooklyn Open Golf Championship at Marine Park Golf Course Friday.  The Cortlandt Manor golfer posted a 5-under-par 67 to take the championship.

The tally was a Brooklyn Open scoring record for Renza, 23, a former two-time Big East All-Academic player at Rutgers University. It put him one stroke ahead of runner-up Steve Cuzzort of Gross Isle, Mich. 

It was also the first professional victory for Renza and gave him a $2,000 payday in addition to the Brooklyn Borough President Championship silver cup.

“It’s an awesome course and I kind of winged it,” said Renza, who graduated from Rutgers last year.  “I didn’t know where the trouble spots were because this was my first time seeing it.”

The key to his victory?  “It’s golf. You just have to get the ball in the hole as quickly as possible.”

The only blot on his card was a bogey on the difficult par-4 third hole, but Renza didn’t let it knock him off course to finish a round that included six birdies. He made the turn with a 2-under 33, then drained a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-4 11th to start a string of four consecutive birdies.

“Winning this tournament feels good,” said Renza, who topped the former Brooklyn Open Championship best by two strokes. “I’ve been playing well for days leading up to this. I’m not going to say I’m surprised I shot well.”

Less than 24 hours earlier, Renza set another record. He posted a 65 at Hollow Brook Golf Club in Cortlandt Manor to set a new record for the difficult Westchester track.  “I thought if I could do it yesterday, why can’t I do it today?”

Renza’s next career move is preparing for the PGA Tour Latinoamérica Qualifying School in January.

Matthew Rendell of Manhattan won the Brooklyn Open Amateur Championship with an even-par 72, one shot ahead of Billy Byrnes of Brooklyn. Rendell, a native of Reading, England, posted four birdies to capture the amateur title.

A full field of 116 players competed in the tournament that included one professional division and five amateur divisions prearranged by handicap.

Marine Park Golf Course is an 18-hole, par-72 course open to the public year-round and is a member of New York City Parks. Located in southern Brooklyn, this links-style course was designed in 1964 by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. It boasts panoramic water views, country club quality greens and fairways, a beautifully manicured driving range, and prevailing winds off Jamaica Bay. The course measures 7,091 yards from the back tees.

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