By Patrick Newell
Sun Sports Editor
PLYMOUTH – Paul Brunick recently reclaimed his amateur status, and in his first attempt, captured the Canasawacta Country Club scratch championship Sunday afternoon.
Brunick finished the 54-hole event – 36 of those holes played on Sunday – at 9-under-par to displace defending champion Bob Branham. Branham was alone in second at 2-under-par, while Tom Muserilli was third at 4-over-par.
Also winning titles Sunday were Casey Marson, women’s scratch; Doug Wilson, men’s senior scratch; Dennis Rifanburg, men’s handicap; Colin Fraser, senior men’s handicap; and Krista Porter, women’s handicap.
Brunick blew away the field with a barrage of birdies. He had eight birdies in his morning round Sunday include a pair of three-hole birdie streaks, and birdied three of four holes between the fourth and eighth holes during his second 18 holes to extend his margin.
Brunick led by three over Branham and Muserilli to start the final 18 holes, and by the ninth hole, that margin had swelled to eight strokes.
That Brunick shot under par in all three rounds was no surprise - he does it regularly in recreational play. That he put it all together in tournament competition and avoided any loss of focus – once a bane of his youth – was a big turnaround from the guy who grew up playing on Canasawacta. “More than anything, I’m thankful for my kids (three daughters),” Brunick said. “They make me better, more calm, and they help me keep things in perspective. My mental game has improved by leaps and bounds the past few years.”