On a humid Sunday morning at the 6,059-yard, par-71 Blue Mountain Golf Course in Fredericksburg, Blake Reifsnyder secured his second straight title at the 65th annual Lebanon County Amateur Golf Championship.

Co-tournament director Justin Arnt, champion Blake Reifsnyder, and co-tournament director Jon Day pose for a picture following the conclusion of the Lebanon County Amateur Golf Championship on Sunday, June 25, at Blue Mountain Golf Course. Reifsnyder won the tournament for the second year in a row. (Jeff Falk)

Reifsnyder, 26, carded a second round 73, which, combined with the opening round 66 he posted on Saturday, gave him a 36-hole total of 139, or three-under-par. Reifsnyder was two strokes better than runner-up Derrick Brennan, who carded a 67-74 (141) total.

With a 36-hole total of 139, or three-under-par, 26-year-old Blake Reifsnyder won the Lebanon County Amateur Golf Championship on Sunday, June 25, at Blue Mountain Golf Course. It was Reifsnyder’s second straight win of the county amateur championship. (Jeff Falk)

Finishing in a tie for third were Greg Seidel with a 72-72 (144) total and John DiGiacomo, who registered a 75-69 (144). Fifth place went to Trentin Brubaker, who recorded a 76-70 (146).

Greg Seidel, who tied John DiGiacomo for third place, follows his drive off the tee during the Lebanon County Amateur Golf Championship at Blue Mountain Golf Course. (Jeff Falk)

With his victory, Reifsnyder became the third player in the history of the storied event to defend his title and repeat as champion. The last to do it was Jim Gardner in 2015 and 2016.

“I wanted to try,” said Reifsnyder of his repeat performance. “You don’t want to think too much about it because bad things tend to happen. I wanted to be here. This is very important to me. It’s got a really long history. Anything that has that historic importance is really cool to be a part of.”

“When you win a tournament, you don’t get many of these,” added Reifsnyder. “So, you’ve got to defend your title if you get a chance. It means you’re the best golfer in an area of 130,000 or 140,000 people. That’s cool, if nothing else. Any time you get a shot at a county amateur, that’s a big population you’re representing.”

Chris Gebhard watches his putt during play on Sunday, June 25, as part of the Lebanon County Amateur Golf Championship. (Jeff Falk)

“Blake’s short game is phenomenal,” said Brennan. “He’s one of the best putters I’ve seen. The thing with Blake is you’re not going to beat him by making pars. I just fell short.”

Sunday’s key moment in a tournament that had evolved into a two-player duel between Reifsnyder and Brennan came at the 389-yard, par-four 11th and the 154-yard, par-three 12th hole, where Reifsnyder converted a pair of gutsy par saves. Then, at the 447-yard, par-five 13th hole, Reifsnyder rolled in a short birdie putt while Brennan was enduring a double bogey.

That turn of events gave Reifsnyder a five-shot advantage with five holes to play.

“I made a wild par save on 11,” said Reifsnyder. “When that happened, I felt good. Then, I made another one on 12. I was like, ‘If I can bail myself out, he’s (Brennan) going to have to make some birdies.’ At that point, it was close. I figured, ‘I feel good. I just have to try to avoid big mistakes.’”

“My head’s still spinning,” added Reifsnyder. “Honestly, it was kind of scrappy like last year. Last year, I had a lead and didn’t have my best stuff on the second day. I had this thing in the back of my mind like, ‘Maybe this is my comeuppance’ because I kind of got away with it last year.”

Derrick Brennan displays exemplary form while teeing off during the Lebanon County Amateur Golf Championship. The tournament was held at Blue Mountain Golf Course on Saturday, June 24, and Sunday, June 25. (Jeff Falk)

An early bogey at the 219-yard, par-three second hole erased the one-shot advantage that Reifsnyder had entered Sunday’s final round with.

A short birdie at the par-four sixth momentarily gave Brennan the lead. But Reifsnyder responded with a short birdie of his own at the par-four seventh, before rolling in a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-five eighth to regain his advantage for good.

“I’d say that overall, the quality of my golf this year was better (than last year),” said Reifsnyder. “Derrick played his butt off. He played really well. He was in my group, and it felt a little mano-a-mano. It was pretty apparent early on it was going to be me and Derrick when no one made a quick run out of the gates.”

“Winning is very important,” added Reifsnyder. “Even playing is important to me for my own mental health. In winter, when it’s not there, it’s tough. I love getting out in the sunlight and getting some swings in. Having a competitive outlet is good for me.”

“I’m very proud. I’m glad,” said Brennan, who finished third at last year’s county amateur. “I played my game. I didn’t break my focus. I really wanted to win, but I learned a lot and gained a ton of experience.”

“I never stopped grinding,” Brennan continued. “I played to my potential. But I felt like I was playing from behind.”

Lebanon County amateur champion Blake Reifsnyder shakes the hand of runner-up Derrick Brennan following the conclusion of the 2023 championship. It was Reifsnyder’s second straight championship, making him only the third to repeat in consecutive years as county amateur champion. (Jeff Falk)

Complete Results

Championship FlightTotalPlace
Blake Reifsnyder1391st
Derrick Brennan1412nd
John DiGiacomo1443rd
Greg Seidel1444th
Trentin Brubaker1465th
Kerry Wentling1476th
Bill Massar Jr.148T7th
Craig Kliewer148T7th
Darren Lutz148T7th
First FlightTotalPlace
Dave Albright1511st
Skeet Wentling1522nd
Steve Allwein1523rd
Jordan Nichols1524th
Chris Gebhard1525th
Jared Brandt1536th
Jon Day1567th
Bill Whitman1598th
Second FlightTotalPlace
Jordan Rhen1591st
Perry Umlauf1612nd
Cam Shaak1623rd
Logan Horn1654th
Ben Allwein167T5th
Jim Pesta167T5th
Stefan Caporaletti1687th
Logan Francis1698th
Third FlightTotalPlace
Trevor Firestone1711st
Wyatt Beakler1722nd
Dale Brubaker1723rd
Steve O’Neal1724th
Justin Arnt1785th
Grant Boehler1796th
Josh Bucher1897th
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Jeff Falk is a seasoned journalist based in Lebanon, PA. He's a graduate of Cedar Crest High School, Penn State University, and a lifelong resident of Lebanon, born and raised. Currently, he is a feature writer for Engle Publishing in Lancaster, the editor of LebCoSports.com, sports director at WLBR...


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