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BENNETT: Enjoyed covering the Open

Just speaking from personal experience, two of the best things about a golf course are playing it and perhaps having an adult beverage.

However, when one is covering a golf tournament the scribe can’t do either one.

Being able to cover the final two days of the 86th West Virginia Open last week at Parkersburg Country Club truly was a treat.

I was able to catch up with some former area golfers I hadn’t seen in some time. It’s also nice to see them not only having success on the links, but also taking care of things in the classroom.

I also had some great conversations with guys like Frank Northrup and David Jude among others.

Mother Nature didn’t prove to be too bad as things were predicted to be a lot worse. Even 11-time Open champion David Bradshaw commented in a short speech after receiving his trophy how amazed he was there wasn’t a rain delay last week.

Speaking of Bradshaw, he had high praise for Open runner-up and low amateur Josef Dransfeld, who I covered before during his time on the Callaway Junior Tour and once while he was a freshman at Huntington St. Joe.

“That kid is talented and he’s got a lot of golf ahead him,” Bradshaw stated. “He’s just so even-keeled for his age. He’s got a little to learn, but he’s 18 and an incredible golfer.

“He could be the next PGA Tour player out of West Virginia and hopefully he will be. He’s got a lot of work to do to fine-tune some things, but the kid is talented.”

Kudos definitely go out to PCC head pro Scott Davidson, course superintendent Pat Maher and the countless number of volunteers for the time they gave during the three-day event.

“We had a lot of rain this week and the superintendent and his team did a great job keeping it in the best shape possible,” said PCC member Robert Vanni. “Our superintendent and all the golf pros do a great job.

“The course played as hard and as fair as it could. It was the best test they could’ve put together. The West Virginia Golf Association did a great job and all the volunteers. I have to thank all the volunteers for the live scoring.”

It truly was a great tournament and another aspect I enjoyed was getting to know some of the golfers a little bit from different parts of the Mountain State.

On the other hand, the same held true for guys like Alex Easthom, who was pumped to get to know some other golfers as well.

“This year I played with different people,” said Easthom, who participated in his second Open. “Last year I played with people I knew. I actually got to meet some new people this year, which was nice.

“I met some good people. I think my next thing, though, I might try for the U.S. Amateur at Edgewood (Country Club) on July 8. I’m hoping to play good there and hopefully hit the ball a little better.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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