Brand wins W.Va. Open

DANIELS, W.Va. – The final round of the 81st West Virginia Open Championship concluded Friday with professional Christian Brand of Charleston shooting a 6-under-par 66 to win the title at The Resort at Glade Springs.

Brand began his day two shots back of round-two leader Will Evans. Brand got hot early as he began his third round with two straight birdies and added two more as he closed out the front nine with a three-under 33.

As other players seemed to be stringing pars together on the closing nine, Brand took charge and never looked back. After a birdie on the 10th hole, he added birdies on both the 12th and 15th holes, claiming a three-shot lead with just two holes to go. His 66 score gave Brand a tournament total of 204.

First-round leader Evans started Friday with a one-shot lead, but quickly gave that back after making a bogey on his first hole of the day. The trouble continued on the long par-3 third hole, when he found trouble off the tee and made a triple-bogey six. Looking to right the ship, Evans birdied four of his next five holes, including three back-to-back-to-back birdies on holes 4 through 6.

But although Evans found himself back in the mix heading to the back nine, he was never quite able to regain the lead. After a double-bogey five on the par-3 17th hole, Evans finished his round with a 74, giving him a three-day total of 6-under-par 210 – good enough for a fourth-place finish and low amateur honors.

Craig Berner of Hurricane started the day one shot back of the lead, but faltered on the back nine. His final round of 71 included an eagle, two birdies and three bogeys. Berner’s three-day total of 208 enabled him to finish alone in third place.

Defending and seven-time West Virginia Open champion David Bradshaw looked as if he was going to stake claim at his eighth title after he began his final round carding four straight birdies on holes 2 through 5. After jumping atop the leaderboard, Bradshaw’s birdie streak fizzled as his only other birdie came on the par-5 12th hole. Bradshaw’s final round of three-under-par 69 gave him a total of nine under-par 207 and solidified his third runner-up finish.

Low Junior honors went to Spencer’s Cole Moore, who posted a total of 218 (+1). Low Senior honors went to Hurricane’s Scott Davis, who finished at 212 (-4) and carded a hole-in-one during his final round on the 255-yard par-3 third hole. Low amateur honors went to Charleston’s Will Evans, who finished with a tournament total of 210 (-6).