Golf spotlight

Mourin brothers take Spring Break trophies

 

Matt and Jonathan Mourin put rivalry aside and won titles at the Spring Break golf tournament.

Special to The Miami Herald

Matt Mourin, with the wind howling, won the Spring Break boys’ golf championship Tuesday at International Links-Melreese.

A few months earlier, it wasn’t the winds that were howling, it was Matt. His little brother Jonathan, age 10, had beaten Matt, 16, for the first and only time on the golf course. OK, it was a loss, and they only played nine holes, but it was a devastating one in the realm of sibling rivalry for Matt.

“He’s really motivated to beat me,” Matt said with a smile that actually tells more than the words about how much he cares about his little brother.

“I kept telling him how it’s not ever going to happen,” Matt said of Jonathan’s quest to beat him somehow, at some time and any place.

“I told him, there’s no way you’re going to ever beat me,” Matt said.

When the nine-hole showdown was over, and Matt realized he had lost, he said, “I took it like a man. I had to.”

Jonathan, looking at his older brother straight in the eyes Tuesday, said, “I liked it when I did that.”

And, believe it or not, defeating his brother might not be the biggest highlight of Jonathan’s young career. He played the TPC course in Jacksonville recently and birdied the infamous 17th island-green hole. He used a 6-iron.

“Unbelievable,” Matt said, shaking his head.

Then Matt pointed to his little brother and said, “No doubt about it, he’s really confident.”

Rivalry was put aside Tuesday, and the two brothers were walking away side by side with big smiles at International Links. Each had in their hands a trophy for winning their division in the annual Spring Break tournament.

For Matt, he was the overall boys’ winner. For Jonathan, he was the 10-11 division winner.

“This was nice,” said Matt, who shot a 1-under-par 70 the first day and came back on Tuesday with a 77. He was ecstatic about the double family victory. Matt’s second-day score wasn’t as bad as it appeared, as the wind was a huge factor in the escalation of scores from day to day.

“I didn’t hit the ball as well as the first day,” Matt said. “I just persevered.”

The Mourin family lives off the 16th hole at Shula’s Golf Course in Miami Lakes, and Matt plays his high school golf for national power Plantation American Heritage.

Broward made a sweep of coming down to Miami-Dade and dominating the Spring Break tournament as Samantha Haubenstock, 15, of Weston, who plays high school golf for Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest, won the girls’ overall title with a 76 on the first day and an 85 on the second day. Once again, high winds played a big factor on Day 2.

Haubenstock started playing golf around the age of 8 when her brother decided he did not want to play, so her Dad turned to his other choice. He quickly found out his little girl was more than competitive.

“I like playing well,” she said. “I want to beat people.”

But she admitted frustration comes with the game, as so many golfers know.

“On good days, I love it,” she said. “On bad days, I sometimes hate it.”

Haubenstock had the best overall girls’ score for the tournament, although she was playing a division down from the top age group of 16-18.

Like Matt and Jonathan, Haubenstock has her own sibling rivalry.

“My brother and I were playing football on the beach about two months ago,” she recalled, “and he got aggressive, tackled me. So, I kicked him … or maybe the ground … and I broke my toe. I could not play golf with full shots for two to three weeks.”

Will her future be in golf?

She said it will be either golf or the family furniture business.

“Golf would probably be much more exciting,” she said.

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