"I played better than I thought I would," said Brannon, who became the tournament's first two-time winner in nine years, since Chris Rivers (2000 and 2003).
Brannon, who also won the tournament in 2008, started the final round tied for the lead with 2009 champion Joey Tinsley. But in a round where Tinsley didn't produce a single birdie, Brannon shot out of the gate with birdies at No. 2 and 3.
"I got off to a good start with birdies at 2 and 3 and that made a big difference," said Brannon.
Tinsley (69-76—145), who finished runner-up for the third time — 2005 and 2010 being the others — conceded, "I couldn't make any putts today."
The only other noise on the day came from K.P. Smith with an eagle on No. 1 and a birdie on No. 2. But Smith, who started the day three back at 73, gave it all back with bogeys at No. 3, 6 and 7 and was never a factor again.
Brannon, meanwhile, extended his lead over Tinsely to three shots when he parred and Tinsley bogeyed No. 8. Both players birdied No. 9, and Tinsley got a shot back at No. 10 when he parred and Brannon bogeyed.
"A three-shot (or two-shot) lead over a guy as good as Joey — he's a player — is nothing," said Brannon.
But Tinsly's run was short-lived as Brannon birdied No. 11 — the No. 1 handicapped hole — and Tinsley double bogeyed it and Brannon's lead grew to four shots. It went to five on No. 12 as Tinsley bogeyed the hole.
Tinsley had a chance to make up some ground when Brannon left back-to-back wedge shots short of the green on No. 14, but Tinsley missed a birdie putt and Brannon sunk a chip to half the hole.
"I was feeling pretty good then, but then you want to get it back to the house," said Brannon. "I kept waiting for him to make a run."
Tinsley never did as his putter remained cold in a round where he bogeyed No. 8, 11, 12, 17 and 18.
Meanwhile, Brannon continued to put distance between himself and the field with a birdie at No. 15 as his lead swelled to six strokes.
"I felt really good when I birdied 15," he said.
Going into No. 18 Brannon knew he had the lead.
"I just wasn't sure exactly how big it was," he conceded. "I knew when I put it in the fairway at 18, I was just thinking get it on the green and get it in the hole."
GRIFFIN CITY CHAMPIONS
Year |Player |Score
2012 |Lee Brannon |69-69—138
2011 |Henry Mabbett Jr. * |67-68—135
2010 |Corey Dinkins * |75-72—147
2009 |Joey Tinsley |70-74—144
2008 |Lee Brannon * |76-70—146
2007 |Ken Pullin |67-73—140
2006 |Rock Hutcheson |69-73—142
2005 |Adam Rogers |71-73—144
2004 |Josh Woods |73-74—147
2003 |Chris Rivers |69-75—144
2002 |Mike Rivers |72-70—142
2001 |Mickey Carver |70-74—144
2000 |Chris Rivers |71-76—147
1999 ||(no tourney)
1998 |Mike Rivers |71-69—140
1997 |Clarence Mack |72-72—144
1996 ||(no tourney)
1995 |Clarence Mack |74-71—145
1994 |Tim McBride |75-77-79—231
1993 |Mike Rivers |68-74-69—211
1992 |Wayne McBride |76-75-70—221
1991 ||(no tourney)
1990 |Wayne McBride |71-68—139
1989 |Mickey Carver |not available
*— Won in a sudden-death playoff