Upstate Amateur Golf

Todd and Duff hold The Fort

Duff Wagner and Todd Hendley teamed up to win the Texas Two-Man tournament at The Fort Club (formerly Star Fort) in Ninety Six, SC. (Golf Club Photo)

On a day when the lead swung back and forth between four teams, it didn’t seem anyone had an advantage until the last shot was fired.

And that was the way The Fort Club’s Texas-Two Man tournament ended.

Todd Hendley rolled in a 15-foot par putt, the last shot of the tournament, to share the win with his partner Duff Wagner.

“Not bad for the two oldest guys in the field,” joked Hendley after the win.

The Fort Club is the new name for the Old Star Fort Golf Club in Ninety Six. It hosted a special Texas-Two man tournament in part to invite golfers to get a look at the old course under new management.

The George Cobb-designed course has many of the characteristics of other Cobb designs in the Upstate and the new owners are quickly highlighting those features.

“We’ve made a lot of progress in a short period of time,” said Cole Patterson, the head golf professional and club manager. “We hoped to have a good number of golfers from around the Upstate come and see the course and what we are doing and we appreciated drawing a full field for our first big event,” he said.

And while Patterson knows there is much work to be done, the bones of the course show through and the 61 two-man teams got a good look at the improvements so far and the potential for the course in the not too distant future.

The tournament included a large number of the top weekend players from the Upstate.

In the first round, former CGA Senior Champion Todd Hendley and Greenville County defending Senior Champion Duff Wagner carded a 9-under par 63.

The team of Duff Wagner and Todd Hendley shared the first-round lead with Lowrie Wilson and Heath Smith. (GolfClub Photo)

It left the two tied with Lowrie Wilson and Heath Smith for the lead.

There wasn’t much distance between the two leaders and the rest of the Championship Flight as seven teams shot 6-under par or better.

Robbie and Nick Biershenk birdied their first three holes in the second round to move into a three-way tie for the lead at The Fort Club’s Texas Two-Man. (GolfClub Photo)

To start the second round, the Biershenk brothers, Robbie and Nick, birdied their first three holes while the other first round leaders could do no better than one birdie.

Very quickly three teams were tied for the lead and it grew even larger after the turn.

The Biershenk brothers were joined in chasing Hendley and Wagner by the Grumbles brothers (Marcus and Shane) who shot a 6-under par 30 on the front nine, while the team of Yancey Johnson and Dale King also moved into position to take a run at the leaders.

The Grumbles brothers let a couple of birdie opportunities slide past the cup and fell back, but Johnson and King did the opposite.

Johnson eagled the 11th hole and when he made a second eagle on the 17th hole he and King were tied with the leaders.

“We knew we were tied, but we also knew 17 was a birdie hole for them,” said Johnson. “We needed a birdie on 18 to have a chance to tie, but we didn’t get it,” he said.

While the Biershenks’ and Wagner and Hendley took turns leading, the hole that made the difference was number 15, a 537-yard par-5.

Wagner and Robbie Biershenk were both on the green in two. Wagner had 30 feet for an eagle while Biershenk was only 12 feet away.

“I called it a Mongolian reversal (pro wrestling term) he made a 30-footer, I missed mine and it was a two-shot swing,” said Biershenk.

Yancey Johnson eagled two of his final nine holes to pull his team into the clubhouse lead at 17-under par late in the second round at The Fort Club Texas Two-Man. (GolfClub Photo)

Wagner would have been happy with a birdie from that distance to tie, but wasn’t giving the eagle back.

“I thought I could make a birdie, but it kept rolling and went in. It gave us a one-shot lead again,” said Wagner.

Johnson and King finished with a par on 18 and posted their 9-under 63 for the clubhouse lead at 17-under par.

Hendley and Wagner still held the one shot lead they gained on number 15 coming to the final hole.

Duff Wagner’s eagle on the 15th hole provided him and Todd Hendley with what would be the winning margin at The Fort Club’s Texas Two-Man. (GolfClub Photo)

On 18, Biershenk was left with a 25-foot putt for birdie. His putt had the distance but drifted offline.

Hendley, had chipped up to around 10 feet with his third shot and after Wagner missed his par putt, Hendley dropped his par putt on the right side of the cup for the win.

“I think we had the same amount of birdies as they did (Biershenk’s) but the eagle made the difference,” said Hendley.

Final hole in The Fort Club’s Texas Two-Man Tournament

Hendley and Wagner shot identical 9-under par rounds of 63 each day for a 126 total and the one shot win.

The Biershenks’ ended up tied with Johnson and King for second place with the Grumbles brothers ending up in a tie with Wilson and Smith for fourth place.

Flight Winners included: First Flight – Rod Overholt and Scott Boggs, Second Flight – Erik Martin and Rusty Stegall, Third Flight – Craig Snider and Jeremy Camp, Fourth Flight – Neil Bach and Kevin Blizzard, Fifth Flight – Nathan Broome and Chris Moffatt.

While the header on the scores page says Paris Mt the Texas Two-Man was played at The Fort Club in Ninety Six

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