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Kerns#8217; ties ICC course record

PINE GROVE — If you play like you practice, Nathan Kerns is about to play some outstanding golf the rest of the season.

Kerns, junior on the Ironton Fighting Tigers golf team, was playing a practice round of golf Tuesday at the Ironton Country Club with teammates Brice Roach and Heath Friend since the next match wasn’t until Wednesday.

The practice round turned into a record-tying afternoon as Kerns shot a 10-under par 60 to tie the Ironton Country Club course record and set a record for the new course configuration.

Kerns said the round didn’t start with any extra special feeling.

“I was 2-under through six and I told someone I was going to play pretty good today. But I thought after six holes I’m not going to see a record today. Then I shot three straight birdies and parred holes 10 and 11 and eagled 12,” said Kerns.

Sitting at 7-under with six holes remaining, Kerns was just three birdies from tying the record.

The next hole was a par 5 and then a par 4 and Kerns birdied both holes. He followed with two more pars, a birdie on No. 17, and finished the round with a par on No. 18.

“I was just trying to pick up one birdie on the way in to shoot 10 under,” said Kerns.

“(The pressure) didn’t really bother me until I realized it was happening. I got to 15 and had a short birdie attempt and missed it. But I settled down and parred the next hole and had a birdie on 17 and that calmed me down a lot.”

Kerns finished the 18 holes with eight birdies, an eagle and no bogeys. He said it was the second time he has had eight birdies and an eagle in a round, but it also came with six bogeys.

“I went bogey-free today and that was the difference. I didn’t give back six shots,” said Kerns.

The blistering round has Kerns sharing the record set in 1982 by Dallas McCoy.

The old course had two par 5s along with four par 3s.

The new configuratin has three par 5s and five par 3 holes.

Kerns said the thought of sharing the record hasn’t really hit home.

“It hasn’t really begun to sink in yet. I’ve known I’ve had the game to do it, but it came together. I’m really starting to putt well. I found a way to make birdies today,” said Kerns.

Ironton golf coach Jeff Kerns, who happens to be Nathan’s father, borrowed a line from Jack Nicklaus to describe the round of golf.

“I consider myself a pretty good golfer, but that’s a territory I’m not familiar with,” said coach Kerns.