Chris Barlament excited for W.Va. Open

PC grad finished tied for 9th in 2013

Chris Barlament, seen here teeing off on the Parkersburg Country Club’s third hole, is excited the W.Va. Open is back on his home course. Photo provided

PARKERSBURG — It wasn’t too long ago Chris Barlament competed at Parkersburg Catholic High School and led the Crusaders to the Class A state golf championship in 2005 en route to earning medalist honors.

Now, the Parkersburg Country Club member is ready to compete in his fifth career West Virginia Open, which begins Wednesday on his home course.

Barlament has a scheduled 12:40 p.m. tee time on hole No. 1 and will play alongside Patrick Smith and Chad Baldwin.

“I do not,” Barlament responded when asked if he was familiar with the guys in his group. “I’ve not played with them.

“They got to be good golfers, but I don’t know them personally. I’m looking forward to playing with them.”

The ex-Crusader punched his ticket to the 86th W.Va. Open by qualifying at the Bridgeport Country Club.

“I’ve been waiting for this year,” he said. “I knew it was coming back to the country club. I definitely had this one circled.”

David Bradshaw enters the tournament as the three-time defending champion and is attempting to win his 11th W.Va. Open crown.

“He’s the one to beat. I just hope he doesn’t go too low,” Barlament said of Bradshaw, who missed the cut by two strokes last week on the Web.com Tour stop in Illinois at the Lincoln Land Championship. “The course is in awesome shape and the greens are lighting fast so I’m kind of thinking that will be to my advantage.

“Not everyone is going to be quite used to it. The rough is pretty thick. I would say for someone who is not used to playing here it’s definitely going to be a very tough challenge.”

Admittedly, Barlament said “I pretty much know every hole like the back of my hand. The par 5s suit me well. It’s a flat course. What you see is what you get. There are no tricks.”

When PCC played host to the event in 2013, Barlament easily made the cut and finished tied for 19th.

“Really, I feel like if I play well, just play my game and play well, I like my chances to do well,” he said. “I don’t really have an exact expectation. A few years ago I made the cut so I definitely want to make the cut again.

“As long as I play well I’ll be happy. If I play well I’ll finish OK. I’ve been playing pretty good.”

With the event in his proverbial backyard, Barlament knows he’ll have plenty of rooting interest, which should be a plus.

“Just a lot of good positive vibes,” Barlament added. “I feel like I got a lot of support here rather than if we played somewhere else. I definitely wouldn’t say there’s any added pressure.

“I just feel a lot of support and I have an advantage playing on my home course. I’m looking forward to taking advantage of that and just playing good golf.”