Barlament seeks to create his own greatness

VIENNA – Only 25 years old, Chris Barlament already has several brushes with greatness.

During his senior year at Parkersburg Catholic High School, Barlament won medalist honors as the Crusaders won the Class A state golf title.

Several years later at the Sour Mash Memorial golf tournament at Parkersburg Country Club, his foursome earned the right to play alongside LPGA Tour professional Brittany Lincicome in an exhibition match. Members of his team just happened to be his parents, Peg and Richard Barlament, and brother, Brendan.

“That ranks right up there – that’s probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done as far as golf goes,” Barlament said. “It was awesome the fact that we had a gallery watching us play. I felt important.

“Brittany is just a phenomenal person to come into town and be so receptive to average Joes like you and me. I was a nervous wreck leading into the match and got a little sleep the night before. Actually, we had beer and eggs before the event to calm the nerves a little bit – and that helped.”

Barlament will be one of the golfers competing in the 120-player field for the 80th West Virginia Open scheduled for June 17-21 at Parkersburg Country Club in Vienna.

Barlament has previous experience in the West Virginia State Amateur, but no prior history in the Open. He earned a slot by shooting a 1-over par 72 last Friday during a qualifier at the Golf Club of West Virginia in Waverly.

His round consisted of one birdie and he stayed away from the big number.”

“I had my buddy Alex Roach with me at the qualifier and he calmed me down a little bit,” Barlament said. “I made a lot of pars and stayed the course. All in all, I was very satisfied.”

Golf for Barlament began with hitting little wiffle balls in his backyard.

He picked up the sport on a full-time basis when his father bought a membership at Parkersburg Country Club.

“I was probably in sixth grade, and since then I have played all the time,” Barlament said. “My dad has been my biggest influence. I also have a couple of uncles on my mom’s side of the family that are golf professionals.”

Barlament qualified for the state tournament three times in high school then took his game to the next level for one year at Wheeling Jesuit. Once he transferred to West Virginia University, golf became something to do on the weekends.

“Since then, I’ve been a country club golfer,” Barlament said. “I play on the weekends with the guys and the little games they have.”

Now that he has qualified for the West Virginia Open on his home course and joined three others on the winning team at last week’s Parkersburg Invitational, Barlament has tweaked his mindset.

“I would love to make the cut,” Barlament said. “The biggest thing with golf is to try and not think about it – and just play. I play at Parkersburg Country Club all the time. If I play my game well, I will make the cut.”