WLU’s Easthom Wins W.Va. Amateur
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – West Liberty University junior Alex Easthom held off a deep and talented field here Friday afternoon to win the 101st West Virginia Amateur on a rainswept Old White TPC course at The Greenbrier.
The Ravenswood, W.Va. native, a former West Virginia Junior Amateur champion and a 2-time NCAA Division II All-Region honoree with the Hilltopper golf team, was the only golfer to shoot par or better in all four rounds at the rainswept southern West Virginia resort.
Easthom’s final round of 1-under-par 69 gave him a 4-under-par 276 for the tournament and was just enough to hold off impressive final round charges from Chris Williams and defending West Virginia Amateur champion Mason Williams by a single shot.
Mason Williams is a junior at NCAA Division I Georgia Southern while Chris Williams is a former West Virginia University golf standout. Each man posted blistering 5-under-par 65s on Friday only to come up one shot shy at 3-under-par 277. Also in the hunt till the end was 13-time West Virginia Amateur champion Pat Carter of Huntington, who bogeyed the last hole to finish two shots back at 278.
Easthom and Carter had been tied for the lead heading into Friday’s action but a birdie on the par-4 seventh hole put Easthom up by a stroke at the turn and he got the back nine off to a flying start.
The long-hitting junior drove the par-4 10th hole with a fairway metal and drained the putt for an eagle. After following up with a birdie on No. 11, he was at 6-under-par and four strokes clear of the rest of the field.
Easthom gave back a couple of strokes with back-to-back bogeys on 13 and 14 but some quality scrambling helped right the ship and he was still up by one as he teed off on No. 18.
His tee shot on the par-3 18th sailed long into the huge greenside bunker but he blasted out to within two feet and calmly tapped it in to become the 35th different champion since the first West Virginia Amateur was contested in 1913.