O’Dell in control at West Virginia Amateur

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – Vienna golfer Alan Cooke could only admire what Sam O’Dell has accomplished at The Greenbrier Resort during the past three days of the 94th West Virginia Amateur.

O’Dell eagled two holes and shot a 3-under par 69 to extend his lead to nine strokes with one round remaining today at The Old White Course. The 35-year-old dentist from Hurricane is at 11-under for the tournament after shooting rounds of 68, 66 and 69.

Cooke played in O’Dell’s threesome during the third round and remained in second place after carding a 2-over 74. The former Parkersburg High School product suffered through a pair of double-bogeys on the front nine before completing his day 3-under for the final seven holes.

“I three-putted the par 5 third hole after getting on the green in two, then I unloaded on a tee shot on the fifth hole which put me 220 yards from the hole but I tried to baby a hybrid and hit it into a hazard,” Cooke said. “That was a killer, but I told myself there were a lot of holes left.

“I had a couple of long putts that I three-putted which is unacceptable, but I also made some putts I shouldn’t have made.”

With Cooke sitting at 2-under for the tournament, and White Sulphur Springs’ David Dent at 1-under, only a major meltdown would prevent O’Dell from winning his first State Amateur championship.

“Sam O’Dell was a machine,” Cooke said. “He hit everything down the middle; he was fun to watch. He’s a nice guy and fun to be around.

“Hopefully, he will make some mistakes (tomorrow), which will make me play more aggressive. But after today’s round, I don’t see it happening. He showed no signs of letting up.”

O’Dell is seeking to rewrite history in terms of winning score, which is owned by Pat Carter after finishing 14-under and posting a 13-stroke margin of victory in 2003.

“I’ve had a really good year,” said O’Dell, who finished runner-up to David Bradshaw at the West Virginia Open earlier this summer at Parkersburg Country Club. “I was confident coming in. I’ve gotten a couple of good breaks like anyone needs to win a golf tournament. I hit it today the best I’ve hit it yet.”

Huntington’s Ian Patrick and Charleston’s Bosten Miller turned in the low rounds for Wednesday with a pair of 5-under 67s.

Local golfers competing on Wednesday included Glenville native Philip Reale II (73-75-73-221); Mason’s Trent Roush (74-74-75-223); Spencer’s Cam Moore (79-70-75-224); Parkersburg’s Jeff Harper (72-76-81-229); and Elizabeth’s Matthew Moore (77-78-76-231).