West Virginia Am: Brand's win nets PGA invite

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.V. (July 8, 2011) -- Christian Brand won his first-ever West Virginia Amateur Championship today at The Greenbrier resort. With his victory, the 92nd Champion has received an invitation into this year’s Greenbrier Classic, a PGA TOUR FedEx Cup event. This is the second year the WV Amateur Champion has received an invitation into the Classic, however, this year’s Amateur had a different twist. Not only is Brand going to play in The Greenbrier Classic, but now Fairmont’s Jess Ferrell has also been extended an invitation to play. Ferrell won in a one-hole, sudden-death playoff against Hurricane’s Sam O’Dell, and will be the WV Amateur representative in the 2012 Greenbrier Classic.

The special invitation for the WV Amateur Runner-up to play in The Greenbrier Classic comes on the heels of scheduling conflicts between the 2012 tournament dates. Next year’s Classic is slated for July 5-8, while the State Amateur is tentatively scheduled for July 30 through Aug. 2.

“Christian Brand is going to be great at The Greenbrier Classic,” said WVGA executive director, Ken Tackett. “He’s got a great head on his shoulders, he’s been in high profile tournament situations before, and I look forward to seeing what kind of results he can produce on the Old White the end of this month.”

This week, Brand went 71-67-71-71—280 on the resort’s Meadows and Greenbrier courses, even-par for the Championship. O’Dell, who was tied for first place during the first two rounds of the tournament, fell back slightly during yesterday’s round on the Meadows course, shooting 6-over-par 76, which knocked him back to second place going into today’s final round. He started off today struggling, making bogey on the second and third holes, tripling hole no. 4, and doubling no. 6—7-over-par after nine holes, falling back dramatically in the rankings. As he made the turn, O’Dell had a surge of hope, starting off par, birdie, par. A birdie on no. 14 was sandwiched between two set-backs on 13 and 15—bogey on both. In an exciting finish, O’Dell made eagle on the final par 5 hole, bringing him for second with Ferrell and into the sudden-death playoff.

Ferrell won the playoff on the Greenbrier course’s first hole, making a two-putt par to clinch his exemption into the 2012 Greenbrier Classic.

Rounding out the top 10 for this year’s Championship are Wheeling’s Joey Seabright and Bryan Myers, who tied for fourth; Hurricane’s Brian Anania in sixth place, Bridgeport’s Jay Woodward and Huntington’s Blake Davis, who tied for seventh; and Mason’s Trent Roush and Bridgeport’s Ryan Mason, tied for ninth.

In addition to all his accomplishments today, Ferrell is also this year’s Low Junior award winner. Hurricane’s John Duty, Sr. is the Low Senior award winner, who finished in 11th place.

ABOUT THE West Virginia Amateur

Must be a WVGA member, players who are not exempt must qualify at one of the six qualifying locations in May. Format is 72-holes of stroke play championship with the field cut to the low 48 players and ties at the completion of 36 holes.

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