PARKERSBURG, W.Va. -- Huntington's Ian Patrick found himself in uncharted waters on Wednesday at the Parkersburg Country Club, standing in the parking lot surrounded by media members wanting to talk about his opening round at the 80th West Virginia Open.
Unfamiliar? Yes, but certainly welcoming.
The 39-year-old Patrick, whose best finish at the Open was 11th last year, shares the first-day lead with Bakerton native David Bradshaw, someone who is used to being at the top.
Not bad for a guy who didn't play high school golf before graduating from Huntington East High School in 1991.
"I didn't pick up a golf club until I was 19," said Patrick, who had six birdies and three bogeys on the 6,927-yard course that is playing as a par 72 for the Open instead of 73. "I've gotten better every single year. The guys I play with are the guys who are up near the top of the leaderboards, like Christian (Brand) and all those guys. They're my friends. I was tired of getting beat by them, so I'd practice longer."
Patrick was at 4-under par through 14 holes, giving him temporary sole ownership of the lead, but at bogey on 15 put him in a deadlock with six-time Open champion Bradshaw.
Bradshaw, who is living in San Diego while pursuing his dream of earning a PGA Tour card, scrambled to a 3-under 69, falling short on opportunities to score.
He was at 2-under until a birdie on the par 5 No. 18, brought him into a tie for the lead. Patrick and Bradshaw are two of seven players under par after the first round.
Hurricane's Scott Davis, a four-time Open champion, is tied with Pikewood National Golf Club pros Bob Friend and Chris McGinnis at 2-under.
Hurricane dentist Sam O'Dell and Champions Tour player John Ross of Freeman are at 1-under par.
They all sit behind veteran Bradshaw and Patrick, a relative newcomer.
Patrick attended Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, S.C.
A chef by trade, Patrick spent 20 years cooking and retired last year. He started a wine distributorship with friends, but is still getting familiar with golf success.
"It's a different feeling you get in your stomach when you get that far under par," said Patrick, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University and a chef by trade. "I'm usually around par when I play. I don't usually go low. I had a couple 66s in my day playing with my friends, but not in any tournament.
"I made bogey and it kind of settled me down. You never say a bogey's a good thing, but my stomach calmed down a lot."