(Roanoke, WV) The team of Pat Carter and Sam O’Dell picked up exactly where they left off in last year’s victory of the West Virginia 2-Person Scramble Championship. Claiming a two shot victory last year by finishing the 36-hole championship at The Resort at Glade Springs (Woodhaven) at twenty under-par, Carter & O’Dell once again showed why they are the team to beat in the first WVGA state championship of the year. As fifty-four teams arrived at Stonewall Resort looking to knock the rust of old man winter off, they were welcomed by what may have been the best day of weather thus far of 2018. Clear skies and warm temperatures added to the well-conditioned Arnold Palmer designed, Stonewall Resort, set the perfect stage to begin the player’s attempt to claim the first state championship title of the year.
In the Championship Division, the team of Pat Carter and Sam O’Dell found themselves with a two shot lead heading into Sunday’s final round. Their opening round of eleven under-par, 61, was blemish free and included one eagle and nine birdies. Making the turn at four under, Carter and O’Dell caught fire on the back nine playing their final eight holes in seven under-par which included a run of three birdies and an eagle on holes eleven through fourteen. The team then capped their round with back to back birdies on the seventeenth and eighteenth holes which placed themselves in great position to defend their WV 2-Person Scramble title. Paired alongside them in the final group on Sunday was the team of Steve Thacker and Steve Ross who found themselves just two shots back after their opening round of nine under-par, 63. Thacker and Ross’ round didn’t include any eagles but the two-man team carded ten birdies and just one unfortunate bogey on the difficult downhill par-3 sixteenth. Sitting in third place following the opening round was the team of Alasdair Forsythe and Mike Cooper whose round of 64 included eight birdies and no bogeys. Three teams (Jess Ferrell and Philip Reale II, Josh Arbaugh and Chad Baldwin, Nick Dent and Scott Miller) found themselves four shots back and in a tie for fourth heading into Sunday’s final round.
In the Senior Division it was the team of Tim Mount and Van Stemple who took the round one lead after posting an opening round of seven under-par, 65. Mount and Stemple also foundd themselves looking to defend their senior title in this event as they captured last year’s championship after a playoff victory at fourteen under-par at The Resort at Glade Springs (Woodhaven). Mount and Stemple got hot on the front nine today carding five birdies, four of which came in a five hole span on holes four through eight. The two continued their stellar play on the back but were only able to find birdies on the two par-5’s, holes twelve and eighteen. Mount and Stemple’s 65 was good enough to take a one shot lead into Sunday’s final round over the teams of Calvin Dearborn and Travis Hamrick and Scott Bibbee and Jay Kaufman who both posted rounds of six under-par, 66. Both teams found the exact same way to get to their end result as both team rounds included eight birdies and two bogeys. Sitting in a tie for fourth are the teams of John Gregory and Bart Willis and Ed Littlehales and Dave Thompson who carded opening rounds of three under-par, 69.
In the Women’s Division it was the team of incoming Marshall freshmen, Torren Kalaskey and Fuzzy Vance, who took the round one lead after a round of two under-par, 70. The team opened up their title run with a birdie on the par-5, eighteenth, but gave the shot back with a bogey on the difficult par-3, second. Adding birdies on holes five, eight, and ten the ladies looked to be catching rythym until a costly double on the par-4 eleventh cut their lead. Not letting one bad hole dictate their day, the two added back to back birdies on thirteen and fourteen before finding one last bogey on their final hole of the day. Kalaskey and Vance headed into the final round with a three shot lead over Teressa Harper and Caroline Ramsey who posted an opening round of one over-par, 73, which included two birdie, a bogey, and a costly double on the par-5 eighteenth. Sitting in a tie for third are the teams of Patti Maroney and Sue Goldcamp and Karen Rainey and Dorothy Romanek who posted opening rounds of 74.
Gusting as hard as forty plus miles per hour, strong winds and much cooler temperatures welcomed the players to the final round of the 2018 WV 2-Person Scramble. As the threat of strong afternoon rains loomed over the field, Mother Nature was benevolent and held that threat at bay until the championship had been completed. As scoring conditions continued to become more of a challenge as the afternoon progressed, several teams battled through to come out on top and claim titles at the first WVGA State Championship of 2018.
Heading into Sunday’s final round it was the team of Pat Carter and Sam O’Dell who looked to defend last year’s title of this championship. Beginning with a two shot lead, Carter and O’Dell knew that a round similar to Saturday’s opening round 61(-11) would be too much for the field to contend with and would assure them of a second straight WV 2-Person Scramble title. The duo got off to a hot start making birdie on the opening hole only to be matched by fellow competitors, Steve Thacker and Steve Ross, who entered the day in two shot back and in second place. Thacker and Ross then birdied holes four and five to match Carter and O’Dell atop the leaderboard. The two teams both carded birdies on the par-3 sixth and then Thacker and Ross took the lead after making their fourth straight birdie at the par-5 seventh hole. Not yet ready to relinquish that top spot, Carter and O’Dell made back to back birdies on eight and nine as their fellow competitors made pars two claim a one shot lead heading to the closing nine. As the teams traded pars on the first few holes of the back, Thacker and Ross made a tremendous eagle, 3, at the par-5 twelfth hole to go back up one heading to the final six holes. Never ones to falter long, Carter and O’Dell then broke off a string of four straight birdies on holes thirteen through sixteen in some of the windiest conditions of the day to grab the lead and never look back. A costly bogey at the par-4, fifteenth, put Thacker and Ross back to fifteen under-par for the tournament as the barrage of birdies made by Carter and O’Dell placed them at nineteen under-par with just two holes to play. Even after carding a bogey on the difficult seventeenth, Carter and O’Dell closed the championship with a birdie at the last to finish at nineteen under-par and giving them a four shot victory over the runner-up team of Steve Thacker and Steve Ross. Claiming third after firing back to back 65’s was the team of Joshua Arbaugh and Chad Baldwin who finished the championship at fourteen under-par.
It was an extremely close race in the Senior Division. Looking to repeat their 2017 title was the team of Tim Mount and Van Stemple who entered Sunday’s final round with a one shot lead over the teams of Jay Kaufman and Scott Bibbee and Calvin Dearborn and Travis Hamrick. Beginning their day on 17, which played the most difficult hole of the championship, the team carded par and moved to the par-5 eighteenth. The team found rhythm quickly as the carded three birdies in a row on eighteen through two and then carded back to back birdies on holes four and five to bring their tournament total to twelve under-par. An unforced bogey on the tenth hole was quickly erased with a birdie on the fourteenth and became good enough for the team to repeat as Senior Division champions of the 2018 WV 2-Person Scramble. Claiming runner-up honors was the team of Jay Kaufman and Scott Bibbee who fell just one short of the leaders posting a tournament total of eleven under-par, 133. Tying for third in the Senior Division were the teams of Dearborn and Hamrick and Ed Littlehales and Dave Thompson who both finished at a tournament total of 138, six under-par.
In the Women’s Division it was the veteran team of Patti Maroney and Sue Goldcamp who came from behind to beat the team of incoming Marshall freshmen, Torren Kalaskey and Fuzzy Vance. Kalaskey and Vance headed into the final round with a four shot lead over Maroney and Goldcamp but couldn’t quite match their opening round of 70 after making just two birdies and finishing their round with a costly double-bogey on the difficult seventeenth. Finding a spark in their finish to Sunday’s round, Maroney and Goldcamp made back to back birdies on the sixteenth and seventeenth to close with a tournament total of one under-par, 143, giving them a one shot victory over Kalaskey and Vance. Claiming third was the team of Karen Rainey and Dorothy Romanek who finished two shots back at 145 and in fourth was the team of Teresa Harper and Caroline Ramsey who finished the championship at 146.