MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Six former champions are on the field for this week’s 87th West Virginia Open. For the second time in three years and the sixth time overall, the state championship will be played at the Cobb Course at Glade Springs Resort in Daniels.
The 54-hole championship, open to professionals and amateurs, begins on Tuesday, June 23. The field will be cut from 135 players to under 60 scores and draws before Thursday’s final round.
Eleven-time champion and Shepherd alumnus David Bradshaw is seeking his fifth straight title. He has claimed 11 of the last 16 state open titles (’04, ’06, ’07, ’09 -’11, ’13, ’16 -’19). Two of his championships have been won at the Cobb Course (’06 and ’18). Bradshaw only trails Sam Snead (17) in most open titles.
Capital High School and Marshall University alumnus Christian Brand returns to the open field this week. Brand won back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015 at Glade Springs and Berry Hills Country Club, respectively. Brand competed on the Korn Ferry Tour from 2017 to 2019.
The other four former champions on the field are Craig Berner (’05), Scott Davis (’82, ’90, ’95 & ’98), Barry Evans (’08) and John Ross (’97 & ’99).
Bradshaw will be part of a featured grouping for the afternoon in Tuesday’s opening round. He will start from first place at 12:30 pm with two of the best amateur golfers in the state. 2018 WVGA Mid-Amateur Champion Philip Reale and 13-time West Virginia Amateur Champion Pat Carter.
Another featured afternoon group starts # 10 at 12:20. Defending West Virginia Amateur champion and Georgia Southern red jersey sophomore Mason Williams is paired with Shady Spring 2019 Class AA state champion and defending WVGA Junior Amateur and Junior Match Play champion Todd Duncan. and defending Senior Amateur champion Jim Grimmett.
Other notable players on the field include:
- Ryan bilby (Brooke High School 2019 AAA Class State Champion)
- Argyle Downes (Youngest player on the field at 14 years old)
- Sam O’Dell (4-time West Virginia Amateur Champion)
The Pro-Am tournament is scheduled for Sunday. Ten players will compete in the Coke Shootout on Monday. The ‘knockout style’ competition eliminates one player (with the highest score) after each of the nine holes. The last player standing is the champion. The field consists of:
- Professionals: David Bradshaw, Davey Jude, Kyle Long, Thadd Obecny, Craig Berner
- Fans: Josef Dransfeld, Philip Reale, Tad Tomblin, Owen Elliott, Jess Ferrell
For the first time this year, the qualification process included a ‘Last Chance Qualifier’. After the five regularly scheduled qualifying tournaments at Pines Country Club, Sleepy Hollow Golf Club, Cacapon Resort, Riverside Golf Club and Cobb Course were completed, the WVGA hosted an additional tournament at Greenhills Country Club. Trevor Hedges, John Francisco, Ricky Dingess, Jackson Hill and Isaac Prine claimed the last five outfield spots.