Biershenk brother seeking shot at pro golf
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Robbie Biershenk has a goal to join older brother Tommy on PGA Tour. He hopes appearing on a reality TV show moves him closer to his dream.
Biershenk of Greenville, along with former PGA Tour pro Chris Anderson of Los Angeles are subjects of, ``Chasing The Dream,'' a show on The Golf Channel that tracks their progress as they try and get into competitive golf.
It's Robbie Biershenk's second time on the network after a stint as one of the competitors on ``The Big Break'' series. He hopes the exposure can help in reaching his goal. After years on mini-tours and competing in long-drive competitions, the younger Biershenk took over a driving range in Greenville five years ago and had seemingly shelved the idea of playing professionally. His first time on TV and his brother gaining his PGA Tour card last winter got Robbie's juices going again.
``I want it so bad, being out there with my brother,'' Robbie Biershenk said. ``I want to get inside the ropes. That's my ultimate dream.''
The show starts Oct. 2 and over nine episodes will detail the struggles and sacrifices that golfers and their families make to chase the goal of making it on the PGA Tour. Mike McCarley, president of The Golf Channel, said the show is a different way for the network to tell authentic golf stories. ``It's one of the things we strive to do,'' he said.
Robbie was a standout in junior golf and seemed headed for the college path as his brother, Tommy, who earned a scholarship to Clemson. Things didn't track, though, for Robbie Biershenk, who acknowledged mistakes but would not go into them.
``I had a very successful junior career, but I took a left when most guys that I was competing with, and beating, took a right,'' Biershenk said.
Anderson's got a different dynamic, a married father of three who twice before held the coveted PGA Tour card in 2003 and 2005. He played in the U.S.Open in 2001 and 2003 and knows what it likes to walk the fairways with the world's best.
But Anderson finished 181st on the money list in 2005 and lost his tour status. He spent four more years on the Web.com Tour, the Triple-A circuit of PGA golf, before calling his father about a position in the family business, Industry Lift, Inc., a forklift company founded by his grandfather 40 years ago. Anderson, though, still believed he had the game to get back and make it stick.
``I feel as close as I ever have,'' Anderson said.
Anderson and Biershenk were paid expenses and other requirements for the series. Network spokesman Jeremy Friedman said the channel wouldn't go into further details.
McCarley, the network president, said Anderson and Biershenk represent two very distinct situations that viewers will plug into. ``There are guys who are trying to get there and guys trying to get back,'' he said. ``Both are coming from different places in life.''
Biershenk said Tommy is happy for him, but is focused on his first PGA Tour season. Things have not gone well for Tommy so far, making just nine cuts in 23 tournaments and earning $95,409. The final qualifier by money in 2011, D.J. Trahan, earned $668,166 for 125th place.
No matter what happens to Tommy, Robbie says he's prepared to do what he must to succeed in the sport.
``I know the golf I'm capable of playing,'' Robbie Biershenk said. ``I want to prove to people that I can play the game on that level.''