For the record, Craig Berner did not call "bank." Or "bark."
Some of his competitors half-jokingly called him a few choice names after his off-the-tree shot in the second round of the West Virginia Open.
Berner's tee shot on the 190-yard par-3 sixth hole at Edgewood Country Club pushed to the right and was tossed about by a suddenly frisky wind. The ball headed for trees that line Derricks Creek, but hit one of the trees and bounced back onto the course.
Even better, onto the green. Instead of a possible double bogey, he skated off with a "routine" par.
With that, the Edgewood head pro shot his second 67 in a row, giving him a 36-hole total of 8-under-par 134 and a two-shot lead over Christian Brand and Jonathan Clark.
Those two shots represent the verdict rendered by the tree on the sixth, Berner's 15th hole of the day.
"You only get so many 'barkies,' " said Clark, who played in Berner's threesome. "I was rooting for him. He's my best buddy. And when he hit that shot, the last thing I wanted was to see that thing ricochet in that hazard.
"You know what? I don't want that. He's played absolutely pure for two days. To watch him play that well and after I made my triple on my 12th hole [No. 3], I don't want to see him do something wrong."
OK, that's what Clark said for public consumption, after the round ended. He meant it, too.
But what did Clark say right after Berner's shot plopped on the green?
"I'll tell you what: I told him ... I won't even say what I told him. It wasn't for the media, it wasn't for the TV, it wasn't for anybody else what I told him on the tee," Clark said. "But you know what? It was a great 3 and those are the things that win you an Open."
Earlier in the afternoon, Brad Westfall had the same exact shot on the same hole, but his ball simply disappeared into the jungle. He left with a double bogey, turning a very good round into a simple 70.
Westfall would have had the same off-color comments for Berner, but took a relatively diplomatic tack: "He's got membership bounces, I guess. I'd have something else to say about it, but ..."
But really, the 36-year-old Berner didn't just use a lucky break and course knowledge to take his 36-hole lead. The 2005 champion is simply playing well.
"The way Craig played ... I don't know if anybody has made putts like that," Clark said. "What did he have? 17 putts? I mean, that was unbelievable. If I putted like that, I'd be on the [PGA] Tour."