Shears in control at W.Va. Women’s Amateur

Ritchie’s Brill tied for seventh

ROANOKE, W.Va. — Ohio State University’s Adeena Shears is just 18 holes away from capturing her fifth West Virginia Women’s Amateur championship.

After winning her second straight crown last summer at Parkersburg Country Club, Shears will go after her three-peat this morning as she enters the final round of the 96th Amateur at Stonewall Resort nine strokes ahead of Charleston’s Torren Kalaskey.

“It’s pretty hot actually,” admitted Shears, who after an opening round 1-under par 71 on Wednesday carded a 79 on Thursday.

“This morning when we were hitting balls at 8 a.m. we were all sweating.

It’s pretty hot here. You’ve got to stay hydrated.

I was really confident going into today after coming off the first round.

“I guess it just wasn’t working for me today. I had a lot of not lost balls.

I would hit it into the high grass and we would end up finding the ball maybe a foot off the edge and I would deem it unplayable and have to take that drop.”

After making four birdies on Wednesday, the senior-to-be for the Buckeyes registered a pair of birdies on Thursday.

“It was just kind of frustrating today,” Shears added.

“I would barely miss and it would be in the worst places.

“I was in divots twice in the middle of the fairway. It wasn’t really working for me.”

Lizzy Karsten of Charleston (+18, 162) and Charles Town’s Kimberly Eaton (+19, 163) sit in third and fourth place, respectively. Hurricane’s Savannah Hawkins and Huntington’s Susan Glasby are tied for fifth at 20-over par, while Ritchie County’s Sydney Brill and Huntington’s Isabel Vance are 27-over and tied for seventh.

“Today, I just wanted to break 90,” said Brill, a rising junior at Fairmont State University who shot an 80 after an opening round 91.

“I had my dad as the caddie on my bag, which was super nice.

“I changed my swing as we were playing and started to figure out some things. I was hitting the ball in the fairway and I had lots of ups-and-downs. My chipping was fantastic today and my putting was a lot better.”

Brill, who has yet to make a birdie, is competing in her fourth Women’s Amateur and has a best finish of tied for eighth back in 2017 at Guyan Golf & Country Club.

“Coming in I figured Adeena would be in first place or the lead,” stated Brill, a former first team all-Mountain East Conference golfer. “The past year I’ve really struggled with my scores. I’ve gotten straightened out the last couple of weeks.

“I’ve really been working on my swing and practicing. I just try to keep improving. Top 10 was also a goal of mine.”

Despite being in the lead, Shears said she was “wanting to go sub-70 here. It’s a short course compared to what I play in college. If I just keep the ball in play and stay mentally strong throughout the round I could post that. Hopefully, I can do that tomorrow. That would be nice.

“I wanted to be in the lead and I’m there. I know we have a lot of junior golfers and college golfers in the field. I was confident, but at the same time I know these ladies and I know they can post some good scores.”

Also in the 21-person field are Vienna’s Nicole Lincicome (18th, +26) and Coolville’s Teresa Harper (19th, +43).

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com