WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -While Marshall University senior Brian Anania kept his distance from the rest of the field during Friday's final round of the 95th annual West Virginia Amateur Championship and maintained his first-place status, one local golfer polished off a strong finish and placed in the top 6.
Mason's Trent Roush closed out his last 18 holes with an even-par 70 and placed in a four-way tie for sixth place. The 31-year-old golfer shot 2-over par for his last 51 holes and finished eight strokes behind Anania, who captured his first West Virginia Am title by shooting 1-over par for the four-day event.
"I thought I could get into the top 10 - I figured the top three spots were probably out of reach because of my poor start," Roush said.
By solidifying a top 15 showing, Roush became exempt for the West Virginia Am for the eighth year consecutive year. The best finish for the Wahama High School graduate occurred with a fourth-place effort in 2010.
"It always feels good to become exempt," Roush said. "It is a very hard process when you are playing one round of 18 holes and trying to qualify. Now I won't have to mess with that."
Rounding out the top 5 were Pineville's Evan Muscari (3-over 283), Bridgeport's Woody Woodward (5-over 285), Alum Creek's Tad Tomblin (7-over 287) and last year's champion Sam O'Dell (7-over 287) of Hurricane.
With the victory, Anania earns an exemption into the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic scheduled to start July 3. Thirteen-time champion Pat Carter started the day four strokes out of the lead, but bogeyed two of his first four holes and finished ninth at 11-over 291.
Roush's final round included four birdies and four bogeys, and catapulted him from a tie for 14th place after Thursday's third round.
"Because of how incredibly hard The Old White Course is, I was a bit surprised I was able to shoot that score," Roush said. "I wasn't hitting my irons very well, but I was chipping and putting extremely well.
"I kicked it into gear over those last 50 holes and got everything together.":
As for the rest of the local contingent, back-to-back triple bogeys early in his round put Philip Reale in an early hole that the Glenville native couldn't climb out of. Reale carded a 7-over 77 and tied for 20th place at 15-over 295.
Also competing from the Mid-Ohio Valley were Mason's Mitch Roush (T29th place, 76-75-73-78-302), Williamstown's Austin Root (35th place, 72-78-82-75-307), Mineral Wells' Alex Schreckengost (T36th place, 75-78-74-81-308) and Elizabeth's Matt Moore (39th place, 74-77-86-75-312).