By Hector Longo
---- — Like his amateur golf career, Colin Brennan’s stay at his first United States Amateur Championship was fleeting.
The middle-of-the-pack finish leaves Andover’s Brennan in a quandary. Is it time to flip the switch from amateur to professional golfer?
“I’m not sure what’s next,” he said. “There’s the opportunity to turn pro. That would mean a move to Florida and starting first on the mini tours there. I have friends (Rob Oppenheim and Evan Harmeling to name two) who have done it.
“The alternative would be to go out and try to get a real job.”
The 24-year-old Brennan admitted that the latter proposition simply isn’t that enticing right now. But the other, while arduous and a long shot, certainly is.
A day after exiting the 113th United States Amateur Championship, Brennan recalled how the emotions had churned when he took the left on Clyde Street, onto the driveway to The Country Club at Brookline
“You immediately feel the history when you turn in. There’s that yellow clubhouse and the long drive up, and immediately you start to think about all those moments in the game of golf that happened there,” he said. “You absolutely feel it.”
And that’s before you realize the magnitude of the U.S. Amateur, with 312 of the world’s finest amateurs gathered in one spot – competing for one of only 64 match-play spots on the way to the most prestigious amateur title on the planet.
“You can feel the tension, teeing off or even on the practice green before,” Brennan said. “Plus, I had a big gallery out there for me on both days.”
A 76 at Charles River, followed by a 74 at TCC left Brennan deep in the middle of the pack this week, six shots away from match-play.
“I gave some shots away in the first round, and in a field like this, it’s just something you can’t do,” he said.
Still, after starting at four-over at Charles River, Brennan flashed some of his best golf out of the gate at TCC, to give himself at least a glimmer of hope. Through eight holes, he was even par, and he figured a 2-under 68 might get it done.
“But then, you really are staring at some of the toughest holes in golf,” Brennan said. “Holes 9-15 at The Country Club make up a pretty brutal stretch. You’re talking a couple par 4s longer than 500 yards and two more that are almost 500.”
The course was playing over 7,300 yards, but at a par of 70.
“I knew I had to take it under-par, it was just not the position you want to be in there,” Brennan said. “The experience being there definitely has to help me. I know I felt better the second day, compared to the first.”
Brennan’s busy playing schedule slows a bit now, and the recent Johnson & Wales grad will take the time to ponder his future.