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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Brooklyn Open Champs Return to Defend

Both the professional and the amateur champions of the first Brooklyn Open will be back to defend their titles at the Second Annual Brooklyn Open Championship Monday, July 7 at Marine Park Golf Course. Professional champion Pete Meurer of Staten Island and defending amateur champion Neal Fredericksen of Staten Island will be in the full field of 120 golfers that includes 26 professionals and representatives from all five boroughs and surrounding counties. 

"I’m really looking forward to this tournament because it was my first professional tournament victory," said the 57-year-old Meurer, a retired FDNY firefighter and current teaching professional at Staten Island Golf Practice Center. "I have that trophy placed in a nice place to honor in my house. I thought Marine Park did a great job with the changes to the golf course. Before last year I hadn’t played it in 15 years. I went out there the Friday before the tournament and was blown away.”

Last year both Meurer, the 2004 Metropolitan Golf Association Player of the Year, and Gabriel Lee of Bayside carded 1-under 71s before Meurer won the tournament on the fifth playoff hole.  Fredericksen shot a 3-over 75 to capture the amateur title.

Players are scheduled to begin teeing off at 8:30 a.m. on the par-72 Robert Trent Jones designed course. The links-style design will be stretched to 7,091 yards for the professional and top amateur players, making it the longest challenge in New York City.

"The second Brooklyn Open Championship at Marine Park should prove to be a different test than last year’s inaugural tournament in October," said Rich McDonough, Brooklyn Open Tournament Director and Director of Golf Operations at Marine Park. "Summer conditions are more conducive to faster and firmer fairways and greens. The course definitely will provide a different challenge.”

Professionals will be vying for a purse expected to exceed $7,500. Gift certificates will be awarded to the top amateur finishers in each division based on individual flight size. The overall professional and amateur champion will receive a Brooklyn Borough President Trophy. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is scheduled to be on hand to present the Brooklyn Borough President trophies at 3 p.m.

Overall four amateur divisions have been prearranged by handicaps and each will crown a champion. The area’s top amateurs with a handicap index of 8.9 or less are in the first division vying for the amateur’s Brooklyn Borough President Trophy. Amateurs playing in divisions 2-4 will play Marine Park at 6,600-plus yards.

"I’d probably take a 71 again," Meurer said. "As good as that place is they can put those pins in some really tricky spots. With the speed of the greens they can make the course as tough as they want to."

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

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