It was not so long ago that Michael Brennan’s back ached. It hurt to practice for more than 30 minutes or hit more than a couple putts in a row. He had two herniated disks in his back during offseason football workouts, making golf a painful experience.
A series of cortisone shots and daily doses of medication have helped alleviate the discomfort. And while there are a handful of reminders of where Brennan has been — such as the pull cart the Bullis senior uses to carry his golf bag around the course while his competitors carry theirs — playing is a much more enjoyable experience that it was this time a year ago.
On Monday, Brennan put together one of his better rounds, shooting a 4-over-par 75 to win the Interstate Athletic Conference title at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda.
“It does still bother me, it hurts like” heck, Brennan said. “I’m stiff pretty much every morning, but once it warms up, it’s okay.”
An offensive lineman in football, Brennan started as a junior for the Bulldogs. During the offseason, he would run early in the morning, trying to get in better condition for his senior season. One day, though, he felt pain in his back and shooting down his leg.
Instead of lining up with his hand in the dirt, Brennan spent this past football season as a team manager. In addition to spoiling his football career, the injury prevented Brennan from dealing with the college recruiting process. He plans to attend Virginia Tech and might walk on to the Hokies’ golf team.
“Because of all the disk stuff, I gave up on the college golf stuff for a bit,” Brennan said.
Brennan finished one stroke ahead of Landon’s Brent Bubes and Ashton Poole of Episcopal, who tied for second at 76. Bubes was one of five Landon golfers to shoot in the 70s as the Bears shot a team score of 389 to end Georgetown Prep’s six-year run as IAC champion. Drew Mickum, Michael Blasey and Morgan Egloff all shot 78, while Walter Spak shot 79.
Landon and Bullis, which shot 396 helped by Isaac Fried’s 79 that included a hole-in-one, advanced to the Washington Private Schools Championship on May 15.