City should honor Brad Benjamin’s Masters performance

Brad Benjamin of Rockford won the 2009 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club (pictured). Benjamin competed in the first two rounds of the 2010 Masters Tournament at Augusta National. Photo by Robert Walker/USGA courtesy or

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

Brad Benjamin, the young amateur golfer from Rockford, made the entire area golfing community proud last Thursday and Friday, April 8-9, by competing in the first two rounds of golf’s most prestigious tournament, the Masters.

Benjamin shot a 1-over-par 73 in his opening round and followed that with a 5-over-par 77 Friday. Unfortunately, those numbers weren’t low enough for him to make the cut so he could continue playing in the final two rounds Saturday and Sunday, April 10-11.

Regardless of Benjamin’s scores, he represented our area extremely well. Many members of the local media made the trip to Augusta to chronicle Benjamin’s every move. He handled that pressure graciously, and proved he deserved to be there.

I’d like to suggest the city of Rockford celebrate Benjamin’s effort in a very specific way. Even though no one from the city or the mayor’s office has solicited my ideas, I think this is precisely what they should do.

During next Monday night’s city council meeting, the mayor and aldermen should take a couple of moments to recognize Benjamin’s achievement. Mayor Larry Morrissey (I) should present Benjamin the key to the city. That is provided we even have a key to our city. Along with the key, a local men’s clothing retailer should supply a green jacket the mayor could give to him.

After the city has presented him with those two gifts, representatives from the Rockford Park District and the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District would score huge public relations points by awarding Benjamin a season pass to their respective courses.

Whether anyone from the above-mentioned entities acts on any, or all, of my suggestions, I’d like to put my money where my mouth is. It might pale in comparison to the suggested green jacket or the golf passes, but as the owner of a local printing business, I’d like to offer Benjamin a free set of business cards.

All he has to do is stop in to my shop, and we’ll make sure he’s taken care of. Congratulations, Brad!!!

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

From the April 14-20, 2010 issue

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