Richard and Mickey Werenski grew up like most brothers do who are born two years apart — they argued, they yelled at each other and even occasionally fought.
“We’re competitive,” Richard said. “We want to beat each other.”
However, they have also grown up into what most brothers become — best friends.
The two brothers were competing Wednesday in the Dixie Amateur golf tournament, one with considerable success and one with slightly less. Afterward, they were able to accept the results, talk about the round and enjoy each other.
The answer to one question vividly showed their connection.
The dream of both brothers, as it is for many amateurs, is to eventually play professional golf, and they were asked what it would be like if someday they were able to play in the same group on the PGA Tour. The replies were simultaneous and animated.
“That would be really cool,” Richard answered.
“That would be awesome,” Mickey answered.
Right now, they’re trying to take care of the task at hand in the Dixie Amateur as Daniel Berger of Jupiter continued his scorching pace, leading by six shots after shooting a 4-under-par 67 on Wednesday to go with a 63 on Tuesday. Derek Oland of McKinney, Texas, and Andri Bjornsson of Iceland were tied for second, six shots back at 136 after each posted 68s on both days of the tournament.
Defending champion Curtis Thompson, from Coral Springs and an LSU player, shot 10 strokes worse than his opening 66 and was in a tie for 24th.
The Werenski brothers, sons of a club teaching professional in Massachusetts who put a club in their hands at age 3 or so, are both in good position to make the cut. In fact, Richard, 20, shot a 67 on Wednesday at Woodlands and is in a tie for sixth at 138 and could make a move for the lead in the final two rounds. Little brother Mickey, 18, has a long way to go to challenge after a 73 that left him in a tie tied for 55th.
Richard plays for Georgia Tech, and that provides him a certain golf privilege that most players never experience.
Because of its proximity to Georgia Tech, he has “been able to play Augusta National three times.” Not that playing the hallowed Masters course is that easy.
“It’s so beautiful and unbelievable, I’m zoning out during my round,” he said. “Just driving up Magnolia Lane to the course is awesome.”
Mickey, who will play at Texas A&M next year, admits big brother Richard “usually wins when we play.” He then paused and added, “Unfortunately.”
But Mickey has goals for the future and they show all that brotherly caring doesn’t completely drown out all that brotherly competition.
“I’m going to move past him,” he said with a smile. “At the least, I’m going to give it my best.”
1. Daniel Berger, Jupiter, 63-67—130 (-13); 2. Derek Oland, McKinney, Texas, 68-68—136; Andri Bjornsson, Iceland, 68-68—136 (both -7); 4. Phillippe Schweizer, Switzerland, 74-64—138; Hunter O’Mahoney, Tequesta, 67-70—137 (both -6); 6. Richard Werenski, South Hadley, Mass., 71-67--138; Jason Roets, Howey-in-the Hills, 67-71--138 (both -5).
Spain’s Sarah Garcia Real shot a 73 after a 71 on Tuesday to earn a two-shot win over Miami’s Cassandra Chen, Mexico’s Daniela Alonso and Puerto Rico’s Diana Velez in the girls’ 12-13 division of the Doral Publix Junior Golf Classic.
Adrien Pendaries of France won the boys’ title with a two-day score of 69-71.