AIKEN - Brennen King was pretty disappointed when he missed the cut at the South Carolina Amateur Championship last weekend.
The former South Aiken High School golfer, who won the Class AAAA individual title twice, shot rounds of 79 and 75 at the Thornblade Club in Greer. So when he returned home Saturday, King sought advice from professional Hugh Royer on how to get his game back in shape.
The results were impressive.
On Monday, King broke the course record at Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken with a 10-under-par 61. The former mark of 62 was set by Frank Lock in 1968.
Club pro Tom Moore confirmed that King set the record, saying that he played from the back tees and didn't improve his lie in the fairways.
"It was one of those days when I felt everything was going in," King said.
Witnesses were Tom Wyatt, a former teammate of King, and Jimmy Hamilton.
King, who will be a redshirt freshman at Clemson University this fall, thought he needed to make birdie on the final hole to set the record. When his 8-foot putt for birdie lipped out, he was incensed.
"Before I putted he (Wyatt) told me it was a 61," King said on Tuesday. "I got up and putted, it caught the right lip, and ended up behind the hole. I almost fell to my knees. Tom started laughing, and I was really flaming. Then he said `Congratulations."'
King made one eagle, nine birdies and one bogey in his round.
On his front nine of 29, he eagled the par-5 sixth hole and made birdies on Nos. 1, 2, 4, 8 and 9. His lone bogey came on No. 3, the No. 1 handicap hole at Palmetto, a course that traces its origin to 1892.
On the back, King birdied Nos. 10, 13, 14 and 17 to finish with a 32.
King's mastery of Palmetto comes at a good time. He will be competing in the 22nd annual Aiken Golf Classic, which starts Friday at Palmetto. The event features golfers from seven states, including several of the best players in the area.
"I don't care where you are, a 61 is a golf score," said Skipper Perry, director of the Aiken Golf Classic. "He's a good player and a gentleman."
A total of 84 golfers will compete in the event. Demand for the tournament is so strong that 26 golfers will play a qualifying round on Thursday for four spots.
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