Lancasterâ€™s Brandon, Marlin Detweiler take Father & Son (Middle)
ROYERSFORD, Pa. â€” A lotâ€™s changed for Brandon Detweiler since he and his dad Marlin won the Golf Association of Philadelphiaâ€™s Father & Son Tournament 15 years ago. He graduated from NC State University in 2011, turned professional and played on tours such as eGolf (now SwingThought) and Sunshine. He was diagnosed with Crohnâ€™s disease in 2012, which ultimately prompted the 29-year-old to step away from the circuit in 2014.
Brandon regained his amateur status less than three weeks ago. Playing in only his second competitive event, he joined Marlin to take the Father & Son (Middle) at Spring Ford Country Club (par 72, 6,419 yards). The Lancaster Country Club members carded an even-par 72 to prevail. The eventâ€™s format is selective drive/alternate shot.
â€śIt is a lot of fun to be able to play in events with my dad again,â€ť Brandon said. â€śThat was one of the many things that I missed playing professionally. There arenâ€™t a lot of chances for father and son stuff, and even when I was back in town I wasnâ€™t allowed to play in those.â€ť
â€śItâ€™s always fun to win with your kids,â€ť Marlin, 59, added.
A sand scare on the Detweiler teamâ€™s first hole (No. 1, par 4, 438 yards) nearly threatened that enjoyment. Marlin, facing a plugged lie in the left greenside bunker, managed a splash to six feet. Brandon drained a testy par putt to ease the early tension.
â€śI thought if I miss this, Iâ€™m going to hear about it the rest of the day,â€ť Brandon said.
After avoiding a foreseen ribbing from dad, Brandon proceeded to hit a 52-degree wedge 125 yards to 15 feet on No. 2 (par 4, 359 yards). Marlin cleaned up the birdie putt. The Lancaster, Pa. residents relinquished that stroke on the next hole (par 4, 375 yards). Marlin flew the green with his approach and missed a six-foot comebacker. A pair of par 3s also brewed bogeys. Both Brandon and Marlin missed the No. 7 (186 yards) green; a three-footer on No. 14 (160 yards) didnâ€™t find the bottom of the cup.
The Detweiler team, with Brandonâ€™s distance off the tee as a weapon, birdied a pair of par 5s to assure a level finish. Brandon stung a 58-yard wedge shot into the hillside to stop it at four feet. After Brandonâ€™s 5-iron nearly put the Detweiler team on the No. 15 (500 yards) green in two, Marlin ran a wedge to eight feet for birdie. The two closed their round with an in hindsight laughable, in the moment stressful situation. Brandon topped a 3-wood out of the rough, leaving dad with 169 yards for the teamâ€™s third shot on No. 18 (par 5, 518 yards). Marlin launched a 6-iron to 25 feet and soon swept in a four-foot knee-knocker. The Detweiler team edged Lu Lu Country Clubâ€™s Mark and Thomas Farley, who carded a 1-over-par 73 in the morning.
Although Marlin is thrilled to see Brandon eligible for amateur competition once again, heâ€™s more enthused by his sonâ€™s profession. Brandon is the director of marketing for Veritas Press.
â€śI like the fact that he works for our family business,â€ť Marlin said.
Brandon, by the same token, is enjoying family life â€” one distant from professional circuit. He bought a home in October 2015 and is expecting his first child in August.
The Father & Son (Middle) tournament is for those father and son teams with sons 18 to 29 years old. The event was conceived in 2008 because of the high demand for participation in both the Father & Son (Younger), which celebrates its 59th anniversary this year, and the Older tournament â€” an event in its 105th year.
Golf Association of Philadelphia