Most people would attribute hard work and dedication to achieving a recognition that was sought after for a long time. To Winter Haven’s Anthony Monteleonethe junior Winter Haven golfer used its development along with the adaptation of his golf clubs.
Monteleone struggled a bit after an adjustment to his clubs, so he turned to a familiar face to get them back where they felt comfortable.
That Ledger’s 2022 Boys Golfer of the Year gave his clubs to longtime coach Tony Brabner — who played golf with Monteleone’s father back in his prime — and the local golf coach “fixed” his clubs.
Brabner essentially bent the clubface from 40 degrees flat back to the neutral position.
“I got it all straightened back to where I need everything (and) I’m hitting everything really well now,” Monteleone said.
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The future 2025 graduate returned to form Saturday, and those adjustments led to Monteleone capturing first place at the George Jenkins Invitational on Monday at 7 p.m. The Club at Eaglebrooke thanks to shooting a 9-under-63; Winter Haven Sophomore John Roberts (76) and George Jenkins senior Nick Simpson are tied for 23rd.
Winter Haven was fifth as a team, while George Jenkins was 10th and McKeel was 11th, All Saints was 18th, Lakeland Christian finished 20th, Lakeland was 21st, Auburndale was 23rd and Lake Wales was even number 23.
Knowing he was going to win, Monteleone was jovial as expected. But for him it was about the feeling he experienced when he hit the ball.
The results: Monteleone hit 18 of 18 greens and missed just one fairway.
He started his round with a birdie. He also finished with three straight birdies to end his round in a flourish.
It didn’t even occur to Monteleone to check the leaderboard until the last hole because of how confident he felt based on how well he was playing and the practices leading up to the big tournament. In the end, he won by a stroke.
“I’m just really happy that I could do the same in the tournament and I was really happy that I shot 3-under on the front and on the back nine I made six birdies and all pars,” Monteleone said.
Now the first-team all-county golfer is ready for the big Hawkins-Crutchfield tournament next week.
“It’s such an expectation just knowing that I can shoot (as low as I did). I just have to keep practicing,” Monteleone said. “My dad got me a membership at a country club in Winter Haven . I’m out there practicing a lot.”
This article originally appeared on The Ledger: Winter Haven’s Monteleone Wins Jenkins Tournament