Jonathan and Thomas Nielsen are brothers, but over the weekend they proved even brothers can brother-in-law their way around a golf tournament and win.
The two teamed up to claim the Cranberry Classic two-man Captain’s Choice event at Boscobel.
If you don’t speak “golf” brother-in-lawing means one team member making up for a poor shot by the other team member and not losing any ground to the rest of the field.
Every team does it, but the Nielsen’s did it better than any other team this weekend and it resulted in a tournament best score of 55
Older brother Thomas, a former Southern Wesleyan golfer and his younger brother Jonathan, a junior on the Clemson golf team, won the tournament by a single shot.
The Nielsen brothers started the final round one shot behind the teams of Robbie Biershenk and Walt Todd who were tied for the lead with Austin Langdale and Russell Coackley.
“The first day we hit it well, but we didn’t get everything out of the round,” said Thomas. “We knew we could do better and we came out today (second round) and made sure we did,” said Jonathan.
The brothers didn’t get any help from the co-leaders. Langdale and Coakley matched their first round 59 in the second round.
Biershenk and Todd improved on their first round by a shot to card a 57.
The biggest improvement came from the Nielsen’s who shaved 4-shots off their first round total by brother-in-lawing to the final hole.
“They did a great job of picking each other up,” said Robbie Biershenk who was with the Nielsen brothers in the final group. “Anytime one got in trouble the other was doing something to save the day,” he said.
The final two holes of the Classic provide an example of how the Nielsen’s brother-in-lawed to the win
With a 1-shot lead, Jonathan lost his tee shot on the 17th hole putting extra pressure on Thomas. The older Nielsen rolled in a 25 foot birdie putt to maintain the lead.
On the final hole Jonathan returned the favor. He put his second shot on the par 5 , 510 yard finishing hole within 20 feet of the pin.
Thomas rolled in the short eagle putt and the two brothers had engineered a win.
“We didn’t know the scores from all over the course, we only knew a team in our group could catch us if we didn’t finish with that eagle,” said Thomas.
Walt Todd just about matched Nielsen’s distance from the hole and calmly rolled in a birdie on 17 and an eagle on 18, but it still left Todd and Biershenk with a solid second place finish, one shot back.
Thomas and another brother Tim had won the Jimmy Evatt Tournament at Saluda Valley a few weeks ago and after Sunday he had a win with each of his brothers.
“We all want to play in some more events, it will just depend on which one is free for a weekend,” said half the winning Cranberry Classic team.
As a junior transfer to Clemson from Carson-Newman, Jonathan Nielsen has gotten his Clemson career off to a good start.
“I was able to play all five events in the fall. It is much different at Clemson than at Carson Newman. The way we travel the attention to detail by the coaches. We are set up for success,” he said.
Nielsen finished as the top Tiger in two of the final three tournaments in the fall. He was ninth at the Blessings Invitational and 13th at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate.
“I’m looking forward to getting back at it after the break,” said the Tiger from Copenhagen, Denmark.
Flight winners in the Cranberry Classic included: First – Thomas and Jonathan Nielsen, Second – Will Landry and Jacob Bridgeman, Third – Doug Tooke and Mike Teasley. Fourth – Coleman Farrow and Brady Cox, Fifth – Phil Genthner and Brooks Byce. Sixth – Randy Cisson and Billy Upton. Seventh – Mitch and Felicia Nideffer.
Categories: Upstate Amateur Golf