Pat White learning how to enjoy golf

MINERAL WELLS -Former West Virginia University quarterback Pat White doesn’t own a set of golf clubs, but he’s beginning to catch the fever for the sport.

For the second year in a row, White appeared as a guest for the Mid-Ohio Valley Amateur Golf Classic. The two-day event, which is a charity event used to support athletics at both Parkersburg High School and Parkersburg South, began Saturday with the opening round. The field consisted of 32 golfers, including White who immediately stepped onto the driving range following his exhibition round of 18 holes.

Tim Fisher, a multiple winner of the West Virginia State Amateur, even offered a few friendly tips for White.

“This is a great event and I enjoyed myself last year,” explained White, who was joined in a foursome by Bob Winebrenner, Chris Johnson and Rodney Moore. “I enjoyed the hospitality they showed me. Obviously I wanted to come here and get better with my golf game.

“I played better than last year, but that’s not saying much. My golf swing is shaping up and getting better, but it has a long way to go.”

At the age of 27, White is preparing to embark on his second attempt of playing professional football. His first experience with the Miami Dolphins in 2009 lasted one season, but after some soul-searching he is beginning fresh after signing a contract with the Washington Redskins last month.

“My life went full circle and brought me right back to it,” White said. “I was trying to run from myself for a couple of years and had nowhere to go. I’m blessed that I have a second chance, and now I am going to make the most of it.”

Organized team activities (OTAs), which are the equivalent of spring training baseball, are right around the corner and will allow White to show his understanding for the system.

Camp in Richmond, Va., doesn’t officially start until July.

White is one of four quarterbacks seeking to stay on the Redskins roster.

“I need to show the coaches I can make plays and understand the offense – and that I can get in there and get the job done,” White said.

White joined the Redskin family about the same time three other Mountaineers were being selected in the first three of the NFL Draft.

Receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey were both taken by the St. Louis Rams, while quarterback Geno Smith was a second-round pick by the New York Jets.

“Like most Americans, I was tuned in (to the draft),” White said. “They have an opportunity to play the game no matter what round they were taken. I’m sure they will make the most of it.

“They are competitors, so I know they will compete and do the best job they can do.”

As for the leaders in the Mid-Ohio Valley Amateur Golf Classic, Jeff Cowan and his teammate Mike Koreski posted a 66 to take the first-round lead in the best-ball format. Second place is shared by David Reed and Trent Roush, and the duo of Tim Fisher and Joe Gossett at 67.