Brennan, a member at Philadelphia Cricket Club in Flourtown, played some outstanding golf over the rugged 6,588-yard, par-70 course. But the familiarity helped, too.
"It was so odd because when I came out here for the practicing round, I'm thinking, 'I remember this,' " Brennan said. "Obviously I'm a few years out of college, but I felt comfortable on the tees and the greens. I was never worried about the conditions of the golf course or the quirkiness as some people say.
"I think it's a great layout. It's one of the toughest par-70 courses around here, and to get it around in two days in 1-over, I'm ecstatic."
Brennan, who lives in Audubon, began the day with a 2-stroke lead over Ben Smith of Little Mill and remained two up with three holes to play before putting the championship away at the par-4 16th. He hit a gap wedge from 118 yards out to within a foot and made birdie, while Smith found trouble with a wayward tee shot and carded a double bogey.
"It took a great hop out of the rough," Brennan said of the approach shot. "Then I felt, 'Just get it in the house.' "
Smith, of Voorhees, shot a 76 and took second at 145. In what turned out to be a familiar pairing in third place, Merion's Michael McDermott, a three-time champion of this event, posted the lowest round of the day, a 72, and found himself tied with his younger brother, Brian, at 147.
Chip Lutz of LedgeRock and Michael Brown of Philadelphia Publinks, who have combined for three titles in this event, were another stroke back at 148.
Contact Joe Juliano at 215-854-4494 or email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @joejulesinq
John Brennan, Phila. Cricket . . . 67-74-141
Ben Smith, Little Mill . . . 69-76-145
Michael McDermott, Merion . . . 75-72-147
Brian McDermott, Llanerch . . . 74-73-147
Chip Lutz, LedgeRock . . . 72-76-148
Michael Brown, Phila. Publinks . . . 71-77-148
Eric Williams, Makefield Highlands . . . 75-74-149
Anthony Apostolico, Back Creek . . . 75-74-149
Tim Freeh, Back Creek . . . 73-76-149
Michael Domenick, Phoenixville . . . 78-73-151
Scott McNeil, Phila. Publinks . . . 75-76-151
Peter Barron III, Stone Harbor . . . 79-73-152
David Shields, Phila. Publinks . . . 76-76-152
Todd Vonderheid, Huntsville . . . 75-77-152