WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.VA.— The 94th edition of the West Virginia Amateur Championship kicked off at The Greenbrier today, where the 101-player field played the famed Old White TPC course. The only player to post a red score today, Hurricane’s Sam O’Dell, leads the field at 2-under-par 68. Overshadowing O’Dell’s stellar performance today was a shocking incident of one the State Amateur’s former Champions. Coming off a nearly three-year suspension from the WVGA and USGA, Tim Fisher played in his first WVGA event since his multiple transgressions summer 2010. After making the cut to match play in the US Public Links Championship, the Sandyville native failed to properly withdraw from the event to play in the West Virginia Open. The USGA suspended Fisher from all of their events. The WVGA followed suit for his actions, as well as other violations of the WVGA code of conduct, allowing him back into the circuit just under a month ago. He made it through 11 holes today before playing a wrong ball on the Old White’s 12th hole. He failed to correct his mistake before teeing off the next hole, resulting in a disqualification under rule 13-5. “It’s disappointing,” was the phrase most used to describe the incident. On a more positive note, following two strokes behind O’Dell is junior golfer Thadd Obecny, who posted an even-par 70. Vienna’s Alan Cooke, who won the Low Junior Award at this year’s WV Open, sits three strokes away from the lead at 71. The three teenage golfers in the field played in the same pairing group today, as 15-year-old Cam Moore, of Spencer, shot a 79. Huntington’s Josef Dransfeld posted an 80, while Oceana’s Colin Bowles shot a surprising 88. The WV Amateur will be played earlier in 2014, June 2-5. As a result, this year’s Champion will not be receiving an exemption into The Greenbrier Classic. The 2014 Champion, however, will be extended an invitation. “Mr. Justice extended an exemption into the 2014 Classic. After consideration, he left the determination of which Champion would receive the invitation into the PGA Tour event,” WVGA Executive Director, Ken Tackett said. “After a brief discussion, the WVGA has determined the 2014 Champion will receive the special exemption.” In addition to news of The Greenbrier Classic, the top five contestants under the age of 21 will qualify for the Faldo Series Grand Final in October at America’s Resort, The Greenbrier. For more information, visit www.nickfaldo.com. The second round of the 94th West Virginia Amateur will be played on the resort’s Greenbrier course, with tee times beginning at 8 a.m. Contestants will also play the Greenbrier course for the third round, while the final round will be back on the Old White.
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