MIDLOTHIAN, Va. (July 21, 2013) –– Defending champion Jay Woodson shot a 4-under-par 67 in Sunday’s final round of the State Open of Virginia and cruised to a record-setting 10-stroke victory at 7,026-yard, par 71 Independence Golf Club.
Woodson, a 31-year-old professional from Powhatan, logged five birdies and a bogey and concluded 72 holes with a 16-under aggregate of 268. He became the first competitor to repeat as State Open champion since amateur Keith Decker accomplished the feat in 2001-02.
115inSDIERSince shooting 1-under 71 in the last year’s first round, Woodson has posted seven consecutive scores in the 60s in the Open. His first-place check this time was $5,400.
University of Richmond golf team coach Adam Decker, PGA, shot the low score of the day, a 6-under 65, and finished second at 6-under 278.
Virginia Tech golf teammates Mikey Moyers (66) of Stanardsville and Bryce Chalkley (67) of Richmond and professionals Ted Brown (69) of Richmond, the 2005 State Open winner, and Steven Pierce, PGA, (67) from Centreville tied for third at 4-under 280. Moyers and Chalkley shared low amateur honors.
Amateur Chris O’Neill of Glen Allen, who played No. 1 on the University of Michigan golf team this past season as a freshman, began the day in second place at five under. Two late bogeys resulted in a 2-over 73 and left him tied for seventh at 3-under 281 with University of Virginia golfer Ji Soo Park, a two-time State Amateur finalist from Clifton, who reached seven under for the championship through nine holes Sunday but fell back and finished with 70, and PGA professional Patrick Hawkins (68) of Richmond.
Woodson is the first professional to win back-to-back Open titles since the Virginia State Golf Association and Middle Atlantic Section of the PGA of America merged separate Opens in 1985 and is the second Virginian to win back-to-back VSGA Amateurs (2002-03) and back-to-back State Opens. Chandler Harper won Amateur titles in 1933-34 and State Open crowns in 1940-41 and again in 1967-68.
“I didn’t realize I was in company with Chandler. It’s an honor to be in the same sentence with that man,” Woodson said. “He was a great player. I had the opportunity to meet him. It’s neat to have that connection with him.”
Woodson, who wore all white in the final round again, established a game plan for the second year in a row and set out to follow it. He shared the first-round lead with former James Madison University teammate Mike Gooden, PGA, of Harrisonburg then was the sole leader after the second and third rounds.
“My goal at the beginning of the week – I didn’t really tell anybody a number – but my goal was 16 under,” Woodson said. “That was my goal [Sunday] morning, to stick to the game plan and do what I could do to get to 16 under knowing that if I didn’t get there I’d probably be in good shape. I thought I did pretty good. Job well done.”
The victory is Woodson’s first since the arrival of his and wife Erin’s first child, Trey, who was on hand for the trophy presentation.
“It is such a neat experience even though he doesn’t really know what’s going on. Hopefully, one day he will,” Woodson said.
There is one bit of unfinished business for his local following.
Woodson is one of four remaining cast members on Golf Channel’s reality show Big Break Mexico. The penultimate episode will be aired Monday at 9 p.m.
Woodson knows what happens, but he isn’t telling.
“I’ll be watching the show just like everybody else,” he said and smiled. The response to a follow-up question about where he will be next week was another smile, and “I don’t know. We’ll have to see. One week at a time.”
View results for State Open of Virginia Golf Championship