Mickey Brennan's varsity career is off to a strong start.

Sunday, the St. Dominic golfer wrapped up his sophomore year with a strong finish.

He shot 8-over-par 79 to come in third at the New York State Federation golf tournament at Bethpage Black, recording the tournament's best back-nine score, 2-over 37. Sanghyeon Park from Cardozo shot 77 to win the tournament.

"My back nine, I really surged," said Brennan, who was second in both the state CHSAA tournament in May and the NSCHSAA league tournament last season. "I had some trouble hitting the ball at the start, but throughout the round, I felt better and better and rolled in a couple of putts. I just missed it, but I played well, so I'm happy."

Brennan shot 6-over 42 on the front nine before playing par golf on the next five holes to get back into contention. He also made one of the day's longer putts to par the 16th and followed it up with another par on the 17th.

"He's special to watch," St. Dominic coach Robert Philippou said. "We're very happy at St. Dom's to have him."

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It was Brennan's second time playing a competitive round at Bethpage Black, and he said the course's difficulty makes it imperative to get the ball in play. "You have to hit your drivers on the fairway," he said, adding the "greens are fast. You have to take advantage of the short putts, hopefully roll some in, and get the long putts in close."

St. Mary's J.P. Kilcullen (83), St. Anthony's Kyle Cunningham (89) and Trevor King (96) were Long Island's other representatives.

As for Brennan, the day left him looking forward to the second half of his varsity career. "It feels good because I know I'll be back for the next two years," he said. "I just have to keep working hard and hopefully, everything will turn out."

If the start of his high school career is any indication, he could be headed for another impressive finish.