Upstate Amateur Golf

“Shank” takes it deep with a little help at the Greenville County Am

Robbie Biershenk made 11 birdies in the opening round of the Greenville County Amateur at Fox Run. “Shank” has the first-round lead carding an 8-under par 64. (GolfClub Photo)

On most golfers scorecards, birdies and bogeys can be rare.

On Robbie Biershenk’s first round scorecard at the Greenville County Amateur you had to search a little to find some pars.

Biershenk had another one of the amazing rounds he can turn in at times to lead the field at Fox Run Country Club by 2-shots after carding an 8-under par 64 which included 11 birdies.

“I had it going pretty good, but I made two bad swings. I got away with them both or my score could have been real different,” said the first round leader.

In other tournaments, a couple of bad swings could change Biershenk’s attitude and not always for the best, but on Friday he had a secret weapon on his bag.

The 1985 Greenville County Amateur champion Chris Patton, who also happened to be the 1989 US Amateur Champion was acting as “Shanks’ caddy.

“I asked “Big Daddy” to come along and just kind of keep me in line. I get too excited or too down and I know he could help me with my attitude,” said Biershenk.

Patton, who has his US Amateur portrait hanging in the Fox Run Club House, grew up on the course and not only helped Biershenk with his attitude, but also some shot selection and advice on the greens.

Chris Patton, the 1985 Greenville County Amateur Champion and 1989 US Amateur Champion helped Robbie Biershenk as kind of a caddy during the first round of the Greenville County Amateur. (GolfClub Photo)

Asked if Biershenk was taking his advice, Patton had a short answer. “Sometimes.”

By the time the two got to the 16th hole, Biershenk was getting a little ahead of himself.

“It was a par 5 and I was at 8-under par and thought with a couple of more birdies I could be 10-under,” he said.

With his length off the tee, the par 5 should have been a birdie hole, instead a bad club selection ended up turning a birdie hole into a bogey.

“I won’t play that hole that way the next two days,” he said.

On 17, Biershenk hit his second bad shot. He drilled his tee ball into some branches and then heard a solid hit to a tree.

No one saw where the ball went and Biershenk feared it had ended up out of bounds.

After searching the right side of the fairway, he found his ball in the dead center of the fairway, in perfect position for a second shot.

“I got so lucky on that one, it could have been out of bounds and cost me a couple of shots,” he said.

Biershenks’s second shot ended up about 20 feet from the pin, in make-able birdie range, but the golf gods made up for the break it gave him off the tee as he missed his birdie putt.

On the final hole, Biershenk put his drive below the green and pitched his second shot to within 15 feet.

He made his birdie to finish his round at 8-under par.

“It is great “Big Daddy” is hanging out with me and will be out here on Saturday and Sunday. He slows me down just so I don’t get too far ahead of myself,” said Biershenk.

The 2006 County Champion, Garland Ferrell is alone in second place after shooting a 6-under par 66.

The morning round leader, Henry Hall posted a 5-under par 67 and was joined in third place by Matthew Hopper who shot his 67 in the afternoon wave.

The tournament is a combination of the amateur field and senior competitors who play from forward tees.

Garland Ferrell shot a 6-under par 66 in the first round of the Greenville County Amateur at Fox Run Country Club. Ferrell is in second place. (GolfClub Photo)

The Senior leader Dean Nance, shot a 6-under par 66 to hold a 1-shot lead over Kyle Turner and two shots over 2013 County Champion Todd Hendley.

First round Greenville County Amateur scores

First round highlights from the Greenville County Amateur at Fox Run Country Club.

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