BELPRE - Judging by his success at club tournaments, Brian McPherson must have a firm grip on Parkersburg Country Club.
That's good news considering he will be one of the 120 golfers competing at the West Virginia Open being conducted at PCC on June 17-21.
Not only has the Coolville, Ohio, native won four of the past six club titles at Parkersburg Country Club, but he has a streak of three straight club championships to his credit.
"As far as my game, I'm playing solid," McPherson said. "I like the layout of the course. Everything is right in front of you. The course is always in good shape."
McPherson earned an exemption for this year's West Virginia Open by placing in a tie for 29th place at last year's event hosted by Edgewood Country Club in Sissonville.
The first round didn't go exactly as planned after McPherson opened with a 76, but he bounced back with a pair of 73s. In three days, he managed just two birdies.
"I was five holes into my round and had a double-bogey - I just had to ride the ship from there," McPherson said. "I played really well, but I just didn't make any putts."
McPherson credits his relatives, along with his father (Bill McPherson), with jump-starting his golf career. At the age of 15, he tagged along with his cousins at a par 3 course in Nelsonville, Ohio. He struck an interest immediately and by his senior year at Federal Hocking High School he placed in the top 10 at the state tournament.
Fast forward to 2013 and McPherson is looking to contend as one of the top amateurs at the West Virginia Open.
Earlier this year at the West Virginia Mid-Amateur Championship, McPherson qualified for the match play portion of the event at Berry Hills Country Club and was among the 32 golfers playing in a bracketed format.
McPherson won his first two matches before losing in the quarterfinals to the eventual champion, Sam O'Dell, 2 and 1.
"As far as the West Virginia Open, my goal is to finish in the top 10 and be the top amateur," McPherson said. "If I can do that, that would make me feel good. Like I accomplished a goal."
A fair share of the members at Parkersburg Country Club are rooting for McPherson. But before that can happen, he and his son, Brad, will look to defend their father-son title at Parkersburg Country Club. It just so happens, the event is held the morning of the Coca-Cola Shootout.
"Brad and I play a few times a year - it's all fun," McPherson said.