VIENNA -The contingent from Marshall University was in full force during Sunday's Coca-Cola Shootout at Parkersburg Country Club.
With six of the 11 original players remaining in the field, five were either former or current members of the Thundering Herd men's golf program. After six-time West Virginia Open champion David Bradshaw was bumped in a four-person chip-off with four holes remaining, the event was guaranteed a winner with a Marshall background.
After Brian Anania bogeyed the next hole, only two were left standing. And when Christian Brand airmailed his drive out-of-bounds right of the train tracks on the longest par 4 hole on the course at No. 5, Sam O'Dell was able to capture the victory despite making double-bogey.
Photo by Kerry Patrick
Defending West Virginia Open champion Jonathan Clark, left, and Bryan Myers wait to putt during Sunday's Coca-Cola Shootout at Parkersburg Country Club in Vienna.
O'Dell collects $300 in gift certificates since he still plays under amateur status. Earlier this year, the Hurricane golfer won the West Virginia Mid-Amateur championship.
"That fifth hole has my number, actually," O'Dell said. "I saw Christian go out-of-bounds first then I was barely able to keep my 3-wood in. We were struggling that last hole.
"This event is actually fun. You want to get by that first hole so you can play a little bit."
* The Pro-Am event is set to tee off at noon today at the Parkersburg Country Club.
Of the 11 golfers, five were professional and five were amateurs. Parkersburg Country Club PGA professional Scott Davidson rounded out the field, but joined Ian Patrick as the first two golfers to exit after the first hole.
On the second hole, a 197-yard par 3 at No. 2, Parkersburg's Kenny Hess hit his drive just right of the green-side bunker. His lie was not ideal and he sent his second shot into the bunker. A double-bogey meant the end of the day and eight golfers remained.
"Bad breaks," Hess said. "(The second shot) was a sandy lie with nothing under it, but that's golf."
Golfers made their way to the 335-yard par at No. 7. Bradshaw birdied his third consecutive hole to secure his status, but Bryan Myers, Brand, Anania and Bosten Miller became involved in the event's first chip-off.
Myers' chip was farthest from the hole so the Wheeling golfer was eliminated from contention.
O'Dell almost didn't survive the next hole, a 431-yard, par 4 at No. 8. He sent his drive right and decided to hit a provisional. He found his original tee shot and managed to force a chip-off with Brand and Craig Berner. Berner from Scott Depot lost, which left six individuals, including Anania who nearly eagled the eighth hole when his approach shot out of the rough from 150 yards rolled within inches of the cup.
Miller was next to go when his tee shot on the 10th hole landed in a hazard. Defending West Virginia Open champion Jonathan Clark joined Miller on the sidelines after suffering a double-bogey on the 11th hole, leaving four golfers in the field -Anania, Bradshaw, Brand and O'Dell.
Clark has a scheduling conflict and will not be competing in this week's West Virginia Open.
"This is sort of like the par 3 tournament at the Masters, usually who wins this (Coca-Cola Shootout) doesn't win the West Virginia Open," Clark said. "It would have been nice to have won this, but it's fun to get at least this far along and play well.
"As far as not playing in the West Virginia Open, I'll miss it more than you can imagine. This is the first one I've missed since I moved into the state in 1997. But I'll be thinking about everybody and watching every score every day Wednesday through Friday. I can't wait to see who wins."