'Mr. Irrelevant' likes his chances headed into match play

Jun. 17, 2014 @ 11:00 PM

Hold the drumroll. Please.

The worst round Tuesday on Day 2 of The Herald-Sun Golf Classic belonged to — Chapel Hill’s Bill Birken, who shot 100 at Hillandale Golf Course.

He did a little better Monday — 99.

“But I’m consistent,” said Birken, who finished with a 36-hole total of 57-over-par 199 on the par 71 course. “All golfers strive for consistency.”

The top scorers during the tournament’s first two days that determined pairings for the start of match play on Thursday are in it to win it.

Birken is in it to — well, er, because ...

“I’m more of a casual player trying to have a little fun out there,” Birken said.

Birken, who works in UNC Chapel Hill’s Davis Library, said he started playing golf five years ago. He has prior experience playing in golf settings with multiple groups but never at The Herald-Sun tournament, which has been a bit nerve-wracking for him, he said.

Cases of jitters are common out here, said Joe Beavers, who’s been serving as the tournament’s starter.

“Nerves, that adds four or five strokes to your game,” Beavers said.

The tournament’s double-bogey limit was in place to save some strokes, but that was in effect only during days 1 and 2. When match play starts, whatever a golfer shoots, he shoots, Beavers said.

Birken, 66, who chose to play in the open tournament as opposed to the seniors' division, won’t be in the top flight come Thursday. That’s a good thing.

“I’ll be playing people a little closer to my ability,” Birken said.

He likes his chances.

“I’m naturally optimistic,” Birken said.