Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Michael Carbone of Brewster, Massachusetts rode the strength of seven birdies at Marine Park Golf Course for a 3-under 69 and eventually prevailed on the third playoff hole to capture the Second Annual Brooklyn Open Championship Monday.
Closer to home, Rockaway Beach’s Xander McDonald-Smith, a 21-year-old senior-to-and No. 1 player on the Penn State University golf team, carded a 1-over 73 to win by one stroke. He edged Shuvam Bhaumik of Chelsea, Mass. by one stroke
Smith is a regular at Marine Park and has been playing the Robert Trent Jones Sr. course since he was 13. He recently advanced in a Re/Max Long Driving qualifier at Marine Park.
“I’m lucky I have a great place to hone my game,’’ said Smith, this year’s New York City Amateur champion. “It’s a great test, a great course to practice and you can hit every shot here with the windy conditions and the great greens.
“I love this place, this is like my home. Winning here doesn't get much better than that.’’
Smith’s day started with bogeys on two of his first four holes. But he played the final 14 holes one under en route to winning the amateur title.
Smith, a Political Science major who carries a 3.65 grade point average, plans on turning professional following his senior season.
As for the 33-year-old Carbone, his two-putt par on the third playoff hole (392-yard 12th) gave him the professional title and a $2,300 first prize when Anthony Aruta of Staten Island three-putted for bogey.
Scott Ford of Manhasset also joined the playoff but was eliminated when both Carbone and Aruta birdied the opening playoff hole.
Carbone, who plays professionally on New England tours and caddies during the offseason at Seminole Golf Club in Florida, made his first appearance at Marine Park on the advice of a good friend who also played in the tournament. He plans on coming back next year to defend his title.
“My girlfriend lived in Brooklyn for four years when she went to Pharmacy School so I was interested to see a golf course in Brooklyn,’’ said Carbone, who captured the 2011 Maine Open and 2009 Rhode Island Open. “I had no idea. Before I came here they said the course was unbelievable and the layout was great. I was looking forward to it.”
Defending professional champion Pete Meurer of Staten Island fired a 76 and tied for 11th. Defending amateur champion Neal Fredericksen of Staten Island shot a 79 to tie for 10th in Division 1 Amateur. A full field of 124 players including 23 professionals made up the Brooklyn Open Championship’s one pro division and four amateur divisions pre-assigned by handicaps.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams was on hand to award Carbone the winner’s check and Brooklyn Borough Championship trophy.
“Often times when people think of rejuvenation in Brooklyn they think of the Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets,’’ Adams said. “Golf has a way of bringing people in this borough together. Marine Park and Brooklyn are a place where people can have fun.”
Marine Park Golf Course is an 18-hole, par-72 Championship 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 world renowned architect, 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.
It measures 7,091 yards from the Championship tees, 6,866 yards from the Blue tees, 6,609 yards from the White tees, 5,793 yards from the Gold tees and 5,323 yards from the Red tees. Since 2008 Marine Park Golf Course has been under the operation of father-son team Michael and Adam Giordano as well as course superintendent Donald Asinski. Since the Giordanos took over, golfers at Marine Park have welcomed the addition of a driving range and learning center, renovations to the clubhouse and grille and currently a course restoration project under the guidance of golf course architect Stephen Kay.