Anania well-decorated in terms of golf career

HURRICANE, W.Va. – Various avenues await Brian Anania once he graduates from Marshall University next May.

From an academic standpoint, he can virtually write his own ticket. The Hurricane, W.Va., native recently made the Dean’s List for a sixth straight semester and was one of six members recognized on Conference USA’s All-Academic Team for men’s golf.

The soon-to-be senior is pursuing a degree in business management and carries a 3.92 grade-point average.

But there’s another path Anania could follow, and that involves the game of golf.

“Playing professional golf is my ultimate goal that I would love to try,” Anania said. “But I know I have a long ways to go.”

Anania finished runner-up as low amateur at last year’s West Virginia Open and placed seventh overall. As a result, he received an exemption to compete in this year’s Open scheduled for June 17-21 at Parkersburg Country Club in Vienna. It’s a venue that the 21-year-old enjoys playing.

“The course fits my style well,” Anania said. “I won a West Virginia Junior Match Championship at Parkersburg Country Club and have played a lot of other junior tournaments there as well.”

Anania will have several opportunities to re-acquaint himself with the layout. He is one of five amateurs who will join five professionals and Parkersburg Country Club PGA professional Scott Davidson at the Coca-Cola Shootout on Sunday, June 16. A pro-am is set for the following day and golfers will have another chance for a practice round on that Tuesday.

“The last couple of years I’ve played as the ‘A’ player in our group in the pro-am, so I will get a semi-competitive round under my belt,” Anania said.

Many days have passed since Anania considered himself a multi-sport athlete. He played basketball, baseball and soccer then narrowed his concentration to golf as he entered the high school ranks.

“I kind of knew it would be golf,” Anania said. “I always enjoyed doing it and played it every day in the summer. Golf would give me the best opportunity and that’s what I enjoyed most.”

An illustrious junior career soon followed. Among his many highlights was the individual Class AAA state title he won in 2009 after defeating teammate Aaron Barna in a playoff. In the summer of 2010, he was named the Top Flite Junior Tour’s Player of the Year.

Since enrolling at Marshall, he has been a mainstay in the starting lineup for the men’s golf team. His best showing during his junior year occurred at Davidson Invitational where he tied for sixth.

“The college level is definitely a lot different with the amount of great players out there,” Anania said.

At the C-USA Tournament this past April in Texarkana, Ark., Marshall placed fifth.

“Going in, we were ranked the lowest in our conference, so fifth place was a pretty good showing,” Anania said.

Through all his travels and all his accomplishments, nothing surpasses what transpired last summer when he qualified for the U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills Country Club in Colorado.

“Between some of the junior tournaments I’ve won, that experience is on the top of my list,” Anania said.