(Daniels, WV) Thursday morning brought the final day of the 55th West Virginia Senior Amateur Championship which was held at The Resort at Glade Springs. It was once again another day of great weather which set the stage for some very close matches. Beginning the day was the final match in the Gold Division which put two Glade Springs members together to duke it out for the title. Ben Watson had an easy stretch of matches entering the final with consecutive wins of 4&2 and 4&3. His opponent was Roger Keaton who had defeated Charlie Smith 6&5 and Charlie Stone by a margin of 1up. Watson and Keaton were back and forth all day, with Watson taking a 2up lead after the first 9 holes. He added one more on the tenth to go three up before Keaton charged for a comeback. Winning holes 13 and 15, Keaton stood on 18 tee just one down. Keaton, whose putter had been hot during the entire back nine once again drained a 15 foot putt to win the hole and extend the match to extra holes. Even with the hot putter, Keaton found trouble on the 19th hole and Watson was able to close him out and claim victory.
In the Silver Division it was more of a replay of the past couple of days of matches. Glade Spring’s member, Ed McCall, once again made quick work of his semifinal match against Dick Bolen taking a 5&4 victory. He then set his sight on his final match opponent Al Estepp who advanced to the final with a 3&2 victory of Tom Spriggs. In the championship match it was more of “buzzsaw” McCall as he jumped out to a very early lead by shooting a four under-par 32 on the front and claiming a 5up lead after nine. After winning holes eleven and twelve McCall claimev the Silver Division with a 6&5 victory finalizing a terrific week of competition play.
In the Championship Division it was Jeff Harper and Harold Payne who advanced to the Championship Match following semifinal victories. Harper was able to close out Rick Moore 2&1 to advance and Payne was able to close out Chuck Ingram 3&2 to secure his spot in the afternoon final. Harper drew first blood in the Championship Final after Payne made bogey on the par-3 third hole. He then proceeded to 2up with birdie on the par-5 fourth. Payne fought back to get one back on the fifth before Harper claimed both the seventh and eighth hole to go 3up after the front nine. Not one to let off, Payne fought back claiming the 11th, 12th, and 14th holes to get the match back to all square heading into the fifteenth. Payne had a chance to go 1up on the 15th but a par putt just barely missed the hole. After swapping pars on the par-5 16th Payne once again was faced with a fifteen foot putt to go 1up on the 17th but again just missed the hole as it slid past the edge. Finding themselves all square on the 18th tee, Payne found trouble right off the tee and was forced to punch out to get back into play. He had a great chance to save par but the putt just missed and the match was conceded as Jeff Harper claimed the 55th WV Senior Amateur Title.