Stirring back nine comeback gives Branhams C.C.C. title

FLIGHT WINNERS – Above are the championship partners by flight from the 50th Annual Canasawacta Country Club Men’s Member-Guest Tournament. In the front from the left are Mark Matott and Richard Lathrop, International; Mike Branham and Bob Branham, Masters; and Bob Tenney along with Tom Driscoll, Bay Hill. In the middle row are Earl Halaquist and Sal Testani, Doral; Tom DiNoto and Tom Muserilli, Heritage; and Memorial flight winners Adam Collins and Lynn Nearing. Standing in the back from the left are Colonial winners Steve Jones and Jim Williams; Westchester champions Terry Hagenbuch and Ed Holmquist; and Kemper victors Kevin Rivenburgh and Gary Muserallo.

NORTH NORWICH – Anyone thinking the Branhams’ time as a Canasawacta Country Club men’s member-guest champion was a thing of the past was most definitely mistaken.

Nowhere near title contention two of the past three years, a brilliant back nine display allowed Bob Branham and son Michael to capture the 50th annual tourney’s top prize here Saturday afternoon edging second-place Tim Carson and Scott Seiler by a stroke.

“I think this kind of validates what we did here in 2004,” Bob Branham said after the victory.

It’s was Bob Branham’s 10th overall C.C.C. member-guest championship, and 10 was indeed the magic number. After the first nine holes on Saturday, Branham and Branham stood at five-under-par – just halfway toward the team’s pre-round goal. “We thought that we needed to get to 10-under-par, and that would give us a chance,” Bob said.

A ho-hum front nine at level par from Branham and Branham – the level-par intact thanks to a clutch up-and-down on number nine by Michael – left the eventual champs four down of Carson-Seiler, three-back of Doug Wilson and Joe Gutosky, and tied with 2007 champions Tim Mirabito and Kenny Stewart. “Carson and Seiler were playing pretty well and had a good front nine, so we felt we needed a 29 on the back nine,” Bob said.

Branham and Branham nearly pulled that off.

Birdies for the Branhams came quickly on the 10th, 11th, and 13th holes to draw to within two shots of Carson and Seiler.

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