Reale leads Woodward by a stroke at WV Am; local golfers struggling

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Philip Reale, left, waits to hit a tee shot alongside Cole Moore during last month’s West Virginia Open at Parkersburg Country Club. Reale enters the final day of the 100th W.Va. Amateur at The Greenbrier with a 1-shot lead. Moore is currently the top area golfer and is tied for 21st.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS — Following three rounds of play at the 100th West Virginia Amateur at The Greenbrier, Hurricane’s Philip Reale holds a one stroke lead ahead of Bridgeport’s Woody Woodward.

Reale carded a quartet of birdies Thursday on the Old White TPC Course en route to shooting a 3-under 67, which put him 2-under for the tournament.

Woodward was even entering the back nine, but promptly made three consecutive bogeys as Reale took the lead with his last birdie on No. 16.

Huntington’s Cam Roam finished strong to shoot an even par round of 70. That included carding birdies on three of his final five holes as he sits four strokes back at plus-2. The trio will have the last tee time at 10:40 a.m. today on the Meadows Course.

The top area golfer going into the final round is Marshall University’s Cole Moore. The ex-Roane County standout opened his round with four straight bogeys, but got it back to 1-over thanks to birdies on five, 10 and 11. However, his up-and-down afternoon continued as he made two more pars coming in, but also had a trio of sixes.

“Kind of a crazy round,” expressed Moore, who is tied for 21st at 12-over. “Rough start and I had to stay patient.

“Really was nice to see some putts drop, but I’m just having too much inconsistency tee to green.”

West Liberty University’s Alex Easthom managed a pair of birdies during his round on holes No. 2 and No. 18. Following his 6-over round of 76, the ex-Ravenswood Red Devil is in a tie for 29th place with a three-day total of plus-14.

“I haven’t hit the ball very well the last two days or so. The first day I hit the ball read good,” admitted Easthom. “I started pin seeking at pins I shouldn’t have and that led to a lot of short-sided bogeys. I’m grinding pretty well. I had to hit out of eight bunkers today.

“I was in the bunker on four, five, six, seven and I was in two bunkers on 10. I missed makeable birdies on eight, nine, 14, 16 and 17 and I finally got one on 18. It’s been kind of a disappointing week. It was really promising at the start and could’ve been a lot better. I easily could’ve shot three-under the first day if I’d made half of those putts from 10 feet.”

Vienna’s Isaac Prine, who will be heading back to Marshall University later this month, sits alone in 41st place at 19-over par. He shot 77s each round on Old White. After a tough front nine, the former Parkersburg Big Red managed to finish strong by carding a trio of birdies on the back.

Robert Vanni, also of Vienna, is a stroke ahead of Prine and he’s currently in a four-way tie for 37th place alongside the likes of Elon University’s Josef Dransfeld. The Parkersburg Country Club member was unable to record a hole in the red during his round of 79.