(Sissonville, WV) Pat Carter turned 50 in March of this year but his game is still as potent as it’s ever been. Contending is what Pat Carter does and just because he now falls under the senior category the threat that all other amateur golfers in West Virginia feel when he is on the leaderboard has never once diminished. The 57th WV Senior Amateur which was held at Edgewood Country Club in Sissonville was Carter’s first shot at a WV Senior State Title, and following today’s final match Carter is now 1 for 1. As yesterday afternoon thunderstorms rolled into the greater Charleston area, cooler temperatures followed behind and presented the final six players with a pleasurable final day for the grueling 4-day Senior Amateur Championship.
Carter began his title run this morning in the Championship Finals match against Morgantown’s John Kingora. Kingora had proven his right to be there as he had battled and won through matches against WV Golf Hall of Fame Inductees, Steve Fox & Harold Payne, in order to find his third Hall of Fame Inductee in a row. No easy task for any golfer but Kingora had played well all week and as he put it following yesterday’s Semifinal Match, “I’ve fought Ali and Frasier already. Now it’s time for Tyson!” The match began and Carter landed blows early carding six 3’s on the front nine to take a 5up lead heading to the par-3 tenth. Carter then hit his tee shot on the 10th inside 10 feet and Kingora missed the green left giving Carter the opportunity to clench a 6up lead with just eight holes to go. Both players made pars on the 11th and on the par-4 twelfth Carter hit his approach inside 3 feet and defeat was conceded. Carter’s first WV Senior Amateur Title was capped off with a 7&6 victory over Kingora. “John didn’t have his best game today, and I hate that because he absolutely got my best today.” Through the 94 holes that Carter had played through the duration of the Championship he had carded 27 birdies and an eagle. The decorated WV Amateur player holds 34 WV State Championship Titles, 13 of which came via the WV Amateur in which 10 were consecutive. (A national record that currently still stands) This was Carter’s first attempt at the Senior Amateur and he is now 1 for 1.
In the Silver Division it was Jim Carpenter of Martinsburg squaring off against Dick Bolen of Morgantown. Similar to the Carter/Kingora match Bolen jumped out early on Carpenter who was never really able to put himself back into a position to claw back. Following the first six holes Bolen had taken a 5up lead on the strength of his incredible putting. Making the turn Carpenter had a misfire on the par-3 tenth tee shot and lost that hole to go down six. A few stumbles by Bolen on the way in allowed Carpenter to gain a few back but the hot start was just too much for Carpenter to overcome as Bolen finished out the match with a 5&4 victory. In what was the most exciting match of the day, Jim Cyrus faced off against John Drake for the Gold Division title. It was a back and forth battle from the start as Cyrus jumped out to a 2up lead following the 9th hole but gave one back on the tenth. His lead remained until Drake hit a fantastic approach into the difficult par-3 13th which lead to a birdie and an All Square Match. As the two played the final five holes they couldn’t escape one another as they traded par’s and birdies all the way around. Completing the 18th still All Square the two headed to extra holes where they halved the first two holes and then Drake was unable to roll in his putt on the 21st hole leading to a victory for Cyrus.
Pat Carter (Hurricane) defeats John Kingora (Morgantown) – 7&6
Dick Bolen (Morgantown) defeats Jim Carpenter (Martinsburg) – 5&4
Jim Cyrus (Huntington) defeats John Drake (Cottageville) – 21 holes