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Brandon Carlson Shoots 9-under

The 2016 Falcon Amateur was hosted by Falcon Dunes Golf Course on Thursday June 23rd and Friday the 24th and featured a field of many of the top amateur golfers from across the state. For those unfamiliar with the property, Falcon Dunes is one of the top military golf facilities in the country and as it sits directly next to Luke Air Force Base, provides day long flyovers and entertainment for golfers and tournament goers. Though the surrounding sights and sounds provided for quality entertainment, the awaiting golf course featured a stern but fair test for the players. One player in particular however, could not wait to get out and hit that first tee shot.
With the golf course playing as it was and the inclusion of little to no wind, scores were expected to be somewhat low. No one saw Brandon Carlson’s opening nine score of 28 coming. Ultimately leading to a 65 and one shot lead over two competitors after day one, Brandon had this to say about his unbelievable front nine,
“Shooting the 28 was pretty awesome! I started on hole 1 the first round and I actually hooked my opening tee shot into the desert and chipped out and maybe about a 15-20 footer for par. I then went on to birdie the next 3, two of the birds were both from inside 5 feet and the other was about a 15 footer. I made a good up and down on the long par 3 5th, and then I just went off and birdied the next 4. I literally made every putt on the front 9. I only had 9 putts. I even rolled in about a 30 footer on hole 8. When I made the turn I got ahead of myself and was thinking wow I have a legit chance at shooting 59 today. Unfortunately, I did not, but it was a good learning experience for me to be in that position to shoot 59, and to know to just take one shot at a time and not get ahead of myself. I still finished the round out with a good score of 65 and one shot lead going into the final round.”
The second round provided a day much like the first, hot conditions and little to no wind. Carlson knew he would have to put together another solid performance to stave off his challengers, many of whom were within 3 shots. He proved up to the test. The newly turned 21-year-old from Gilbert who attends Southern Illinois University, shot 33,35(68) respectively, on his way to a two-day total of 133, good enough for a two-shot victory over Will Twitty and Kameron O’Nan. When asked about his approach and mindset going into the event Carlson responded,
“This was the first time I played this tournament and also the first time that I saw the course. The first round was almost like a practice round for me. With my tee shots, I just hit where I could see because I did not know what was up there. This course was also fairly short and I hit the ball a long way so I knew if I laid up off the tee I would have a short iron into the greens still. I also had a lot of confidence in my putting. I knew if I just put it in the green somewhere around the hole I would have a good chance at making the putt. The weather was perfect the early morning tee time helped out with the Arizona heat. Both rounds the wind started to pick up towards the end but it was not much of an issue just a calm breeze.”
Ultimately it was this calm demeanor and ahead-of-his-years patience that led Brandon to the Falcon Am title. When questioned about future aspirations and goals Brandon replied,
“At this time I am not sure whether or not I will try to turn pro after school. We will see how my senior season goes. One of my goals is to qualify for the US Amateur in a few weeks at Arrowhead Country Club. I am carrying some good momentum going into the qualifier after this win so I look forward to playing in it. If I do not choose to play golf professionally after school, I am studying Health Care Management at SIU and plan to work somewhere in the health field.”
Arizona Golf would again like to congratulate Brandon as well as thank all of the participants for another successful Falcon Am. Hope to see everyone again next year.
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