By Skip Vaughn, USAG RedstoneMay 14, 2010
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Defending champion Mike Brady didn't mind the windy conditions on the second day of the 2010 post golf championship.
While his eight competitors may have wished for better weather, Brady shot a 1-over 73, improving from his first-day 75. He won the tournament for the third straight year May 1-2 at the Links. This was his final appearance in the active-duty championship because he's retiring from the Air Force in July.
Brady's 75-73-148 was seven strokes better than second-place finisher Rob Brown (77-78-155). Russ Donaldson, among Brady's teammates on the Missile Defense Agency's unit champion team April 30, placed third with 171.
"I was really happy with how I played, particularly (May 2) because it was very windy," said Brady, an Air Force lieutenant colonel and product manager in MDA. "The key (May 2) was I hit 15 greens in regulation."
Besides reaching 15-of-18 greens, he had two birdies and three bogeys. On the first day, he had three birdies, one double-bogey and five bogeys.
"I would say that I definitely wanted to win in my last opportunity (as an active-duty golfer). So I was pleased I played such a nice round the first day. But I was a little nervous getting started the second day," he said. "I think when I showed up here and it was so windy that settled me down a little bit. Most golfers don't like to play in the wind but I don't mind it so much. That put me in a mind that I would be tough to catch if I just played steady golf.
"The wind can be frustrating because you have to make a lot of adjustments with your yardage and club selections. And it magnifies any mistakes you make, so errant shots get worse."
Brady, 43, from Ocean Springs, Miss., will retire July 1 after 20 years in the Air Force. His retirement plans are to take three months off and travel with his wife on a weeklong golf trip to Scotland in July. And after that, he said, "I have to get a real job. I don't know what that will be."
He does know he'd like for his wife, Army Lt. Col. Jennifer Jensen, to win next year's post championship. "She's a good golfer. She's an 11-handicap," he said. She's a product manager for common systems integration in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office.
Brady has a 4.5 handicap. "I think I drive the ball in the fairway and I have a good short game," he said of his strengths.
He plays twice a week, mostly at the Links. He and his family just joined the Valley Hill Country Club so he expects they'll start playing there more often.
Brady and Jensen have been married four years. They reside in Madison with her two children, son Joey Manzo, 11, a sixth-grader at Columbia Elementary, and daughter Sammy Manzo, 16, a sophomore at Bob Jones High. The household also includes dogs Mocha and Milo and cat Guby.
"This is really a great golf course for everyone to play," Brady said. "If you want a golf challenge you can get it here but it's still an enjoyable facility for all ages and abilities."