Golf | Tampa's David Branshaw erases four-shot deficit with back-nine 31, wins tour event at Waterlefe

Tampa's Branshaw overtakes Kennedy with 31 on back nine

jdill@bradenton.comJuly 10, 2014 

EAST MANATEE -- David Branshaw had the perfect view of Chris Kennedy's birdie bid.

Branshaw's marker lay just in front of Kennedy's ball on the par-4 17th hole.

Kennedy, a Lakewood Ranch resident, missed, then Branshaw converted his 20-footer.

Consequently, Branshaw turned a four-shot deficit on the turn into a two-shot victory in Wednesday's final round of the West Florida Golf Tour's Summer Series event at Waterlefe Golf & River Club.

Branshaw, who lives in Tampa, collected $2,200 for the victory after capping a final-round 65 with a 5-under-par 31 on the back nine.

"I was just trying to play solid and give myself as many birdie chances as I could," said Branshaw, who had a three-day winning total of 14-under-par 202.

Branshaw's playing pedigree includes time on the PGA and tours. He won the Tour Championship in 2005 when it was the Nationwide Tour. His last full season out there was in 2011, and he has honed his game in events on the WFGT for the past three years while attempting to regain his status on the Tour.

"Just as much hard work as it took to get out there, to get back out there you've got to work harder," Branshaw said.

In Wednesday's round, Branshaw peeled off an eagle on the 561-yard par-5 10th hole that jump-started his blistering final nine.

His birdie on the 484-yard par-5 14th coupled with Kennedy's bogey brought the pair level with four holes to go.

They remained tied as they approached the 16th tee box, when inclement weather caused a brief delay.

Upon returning to the course, Branshaw picked up where he left off with a birdie on the 351-yard par-4 16th. Then the dagger, a birdie on the 391-yard par-4 17th, ended up sealing the victory.

"I just got beat," said Kennedy, who posted a 71 on Wednesday. "I shot 1 under par. You can't argue with someone shooting 65. ... Especially when they are shooting 5-under on the back nine. It happens."

Branshaw spoke highly of Kennedy's game.

"Kennedy would have no problem, no problem, keeping a Tour card every year," Branshaw said. "It's just getting through Q-School."

The momentum-swinger for Kennedy was the 14th, where he bogeyed the par 5.

"I only made two bogeys all week, and that was one of them," Kennedy said. "And it probably came at the worst time that it could. It's an easy par 5, and I was lucky to make six. I just made a bad swing, hit it left in the water, and he made birdie, so my two-shot lead was erased."

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