Bradshaw: 7-time Open champ

VIENNA – Professional golfer David Bradshaw treasures each of his seven West Virginia Open championships.

But the 30-year-old golfer from Harpers Ferry has loftier ambitions and that’s rubbing shoulders with PGA Tour professionals on a weekly basis.

“I just need opportunities to play at a really high level,” Bradshaw said. “And that’s what I’ve been waiting on. I need to squeak my way through those Mondays, get in and get the chance to play because if I can play this well at a higher level the pay day could be really big.

“My goal is to play on the PGA Tour. That is the ultimate goal. When I come to play in West Virginia Opens, my goal is to win but my goal it to play on the PGA Tour. That’s where I want to be.”

Judging by the scores he posted this past week at Parkersburg Country Club, his plans may not be too far-fetched.

On Friday afternoon, Bradshaw became a seven-time winner of the Open after holding off a charge by Hurricane’s Sam O’Dell and producing his largest margin of victory.

Bradshaw turned in rounds of 69, 69 and 67 for a three-day total of 11-under par 205. O’Dell, who still plays under his amateur status, climbed to within one stroke through four holes but Bradshaw answered with an eagle on the very next hole to build the cushion back to two strokes.

O’Dell never pulled any closer.

“My game is as good as it has ever been,” Bradshaw said. “I was sloppy the first two days and the first five holes today then after that I started playing golf like I knew I could.

“I was kind of guiding the golf ball, but I hit one clean shot and that’s all it took.”

O’Dell, who received an award as the low amateur in the tournament, finished runner-up at 7-under 209. Bradshaw and O’Dell both turned in the low rounds for the final round at 5-under 67.

“I thought if I could get to 8-under and shoot 66 – a round of your life sort of deal – maybe I would have a shot,” O’Dell said. “I’m real happy. That’s as good as I could play.

“David Bradshaw is tough. You have the best player here winning this tournament.”

A total of seven players finished under par for the 54-hole tournament. Charleston’s Christian Brand and Pittsburgh’s Bob Friend tied for third place at 3-under 213, while Parkersburg’s Kenny Hess and Charleston’s Bosten Miller tied for fifth place at 2-under 214.

Alone in seventh place was Glenville native Philip Reale at 1-under 215.

Bradshaw, who ranks second in Open titles to Sam Snead’s 17, opened the final round with a three-stroke edge. Yet, he never took anything for granted.

“I know how long a round of golf is – it’s just an eternity out there,” Bradshaw said. “And with a golf course like this, you have to grind. It’s not an easy golf course. There are places you can make mistakes. You never quit.”

Of the three players in the final grouping, Bridgeport’s Woody Woodward was closest to Bradshaw. The 19-year-old, however, triple-bogeyed the second hole when he was assessed a two-stroke penalty and fell out of contention.

As Bradshaw slipped into par mode with five straight to start the back nine, O’Dell crept to within two strokes on several occasions and maintained status quo with four holes remaining.

Bradshaw then pulled away with three birdies on the final four holes.

“Sam was hanging in there and gave himself a chance,” Bradshaw said. “It was a four-shot victory, but it never felt like one.”