(Bridgeport, WV) 2017 Mid-Amateur Championship Runner-Up Philip Reale II entered the final day of the 15th WV Mid-Amateur presented by Pikewood Energy looking to get the monkey off his back. Reale, who won the 2018 WV Four-Ball Championship with partner Jess Ferrell, was still looking to claim his first individual state title since winning the 2001 WV Junior Match Play Championship. Many times Reale has found himself at the top of the leaderboard or in final matches but things haven’t panned out as planned and he has had to settle for runner-up honors. As the semifinal matches began this morning Reale looked to continue the momentum he entered the championship with and finally grab hold of that individual title.

In the morning semifinal matches Reale found himself paired against Mason’s Trent Roush. Reale played consistent golf throughout the round and only carded one bogey in his morning match against Roush. Making the turn the back nine Reale held a 3up lead and from there he continued to apply pressure. After almost holing his tee shot on the drivable par-4 12th, Reale carded consecutive birdies on the 12th and 13th to close the match 5&4. On the other side of the bracket it was Jess Ferrell paired against Madison’s Aaron Boggs. The match stayed close throughout the first few holes but Boggs continually found trouble off the tee and making the turn Ferrell found himself 3up. Ferrell went on a hot streak in the closing holes of the match winning 7 of the last eight holes and claiming a 7&5 victory. Reale and Ferrell’s semifinal wins created a great story for the championship match.

Reale and Ferrell are no strangers as the two have teamed up to compete in the WV 2-Man Scramble and WV Four-Ball Championships over the last few years. The two even won this year’s 2018 WV Four-Ball Championship at The Raven Golf Club at Snowshoe Mountain. As the Championship Final match got underway this afternoon you could tell it was going to be a battle of epic proportions. Reale took the early lead out of the gate as Ferrell hit his approach on the first hole long and right and failed to get up and down. Ferrell then got the match back to All Square after hitting an incredible shot on the par-3 4th hole to inside 10 feet and then went up in the match after posting a birdie on the par-4 6th hole. Reale then flipped the script and won the next two holes with birdies to once again take a 1up lead  which he held through the front nine. The two players then traded pars on the 10th and 11th before Reale really started finding his groove. Back to back birdies on the 12th and 13th put Reale 3up heading to the 14th tee. Both players managed to make great up and downs on the 14th and then proceeded to the 15th where they once again traded pars. Heading to the 16th tee, Reale was now dormie. The par-3 16th was playing 208 yards downhill and Ferrell, who needed to win the hole to extend the match, hit a clutch shot 8 feet right of the hole. Ferrell carded a birdie two to extend the match to the 17th. After both players hit great approaches into the 17th, Ferrell was unable to convert his birdie putt and Reale was able to two putt to par and claim the 15th WV Mid-Amateur presented by Pikewood Energy with a 2&1 victory. “Pete Dye is hands down my favorite course in the state, and finally winning this championship means a great deal to me.” Reale in his acceptance speech thanked defending champion, Sam O’Dell for not being able to make the event this year (he is preparing for the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach) and with a chuckle stated, “I’m sure he’s going to be more than ready to compete next year!”

Round — (Semifinal)
Philip Reale, Hurricane, W.Va.  (5) def. Trent Roush, Mason, W.Va.  (9), 5 and 4
Jess Ferrell, Fairmont, W.Va.  (7) def. Aaron Boggs, Madison, W.Va.  (3), 7 and 5
Round — (Final)
Philip Reale, Hurricane, W.Va.  (5) def. Jess Ferrell, Fairmont, W.Va.  (7), 2 and 1