Story by Richard L. Steven, Jr.

Tad Tomblin has had his share of difficulties, with a myriad range of finishes during a roller-coaster amateur golf career. On Monday during the first round of the 98th West Virginia Amateur presented by Mercedes-Benz, he enjoyed his best start of the 19 events in which he has played. The Hamlin resident shot a 2-under 69 with four birdies and two bogeys to take the lead in the first Amateur contested at The Resort at Glade Springs. The Cobb Course in Daniels provided plenty of challenges, allowing only three players to finish in the red. “Putter felt bad, but I made some putts,” said Tomblin, whose previous best first-round performance at the State Amateur was 2004 when he shot a 1-over 71 on the Old White Course at the Greenbrier. “I played it real conservative. I hit a lot of 2-irons off the tee, just kept it in front of me. Nothing special, but only made a couple bogeys. I normally have more bogeys than that.”

Joining Tomblin under par were Scott Depot’s Chris Williams — who recently completed his eligibility at West Virginia University – and 16-year-old Christian Boyd of Charles Town. Williams lit up the leaderboard, garnering six birdies and five bogeys. “I’m not mad, but I could’ve done better,” said Williams, who finished in a tie for 11th in 2015, but missed last year’s event while taking summer classes at WVU. “It’s not ideal, but I can’t complain, it’s 1 under par.” Williams’ 70 was matched by rising high school junior Christian Boyd. Boyd managed four birdies, a bogey and a double bogey. He was 2-over after four holes, but recovered. “I was a little shaky on No. 2,” Boyd said. “I had three bunker shots and made six. “I really got it going on the back. I missed a birdie on 10, lipped out. Shot 3-under, birdied both par 3s … I hit it great on the back nine.” Boyd is the only player in the top three who has not had the benefit – or misfortune, perhaps – to transition from playing the Amateur at the Greenbrier’s Old White and Greenbrier courses to just one course, the Cobb, at Glade Springs.

The Greenbrier served as host of the Amateur all but five times since 1913, with no tournament during World War II (1942-47). The event was held once each at Wheeling Country Club (1918), The Homestead (1922), Guyan Golf & Country Club (1960), Pete Dye Golf Club (1998) and Glade Springs (2017). Two players were even, including two-time champion Sam O’Dell of Hurricane. The other was Wheeling’s Thadd Obecny. Obecny was third in 2015, showing equal ability on the Greenbrier and Old White courses. Last year, he shot a first-round 79, virtually taking himself out of contention after 18 holes. However, Obecny has finished in the top 10 five consecutive years. Obecny, who qualified for the U.S. Amateur last year, is entering his senior season at Coastal Carolina University and is playing in his seventh Amateur. “It just doesn’t really feel like the Amateur yet,” Obecny said. “I don’t really know what it feels like. I like the (Cobb) course. The fairways are real bouncy and the greens are a little bit different. I like the course, it’s scoreable.” While the 6,979-yard course appears “scoreable,” low scores were hard to come by on Monday. Of the combined 2,160 holes played by the 120-player field, there were only three eagles and 188 birdies. Three players shot under par. Three competitors shot 1 over par, including 2014 Amateur champion Brian Anania, who is playing his first competitive golf since that year. Charleston’s Will Evans, who recently completed his eligibility at Marshall University, also was 1 over, as was Morgantown’s Mark Johnson, a former player at West Virginia Wesleyan.

Anania’s return to the Amateur was bolstered by his return to West Virginia. He shot 1 over par in his first competitive round since the 2014 Greenbrier Classic. “When I got back into town, I had a little bit of a rough start, a little rusty out of the gate,” he said. “I got to play a bunch of golf over the last month or month and a half. I feel like I’m pretty close. There are still a couple loose shots here and there. “What I have struggled with early on are the feel shots. Little chips, little putts … stuff along those lines. I’ve actually been hitting it really well the last few weeks. Today, not so much.”

Defending Amateur champion Alan Cooke struggled. Cooke received an exemption into the 2017 Greenbrier Classic after last year’s event was cancelled because of severe flooding in southern West Virginia. The WVU graduate shot a 76 on Monday. “I’m happy with the way I battled back,” said Cooke, who was even on the back nine after shooting 5-over on the front. “I guess that’s one thing I can be proud of. I kept fighting and stopped the bleeding a little bit and now I have to figure out something for tomorrow.” The tournament resumes on Tuesday back on the Cobb Course, after which the low 60 scores and ties will make the cut and continue play on Wednesday.

For more information on the 98th WV Amateur Championship presented by Mercedes-Benz and the West Virginia Golf Association please vist us online at and see results below.

98th West Virginia Amateur presented by Mercedes-Benz
The Resort at Glade Springs (Cobb Course)
Round 1 Results
Tad Tomblin, Hamlin, 35-34–69
Chris Williams, Scott Depot, 35-35–70
Christian Boyd, Charles Town, 37-33–70
Thadd Obecny II, Wheeling, 34-37–71
Sam O’Dell, Hurricane, 36-35–71
Brian Anania, Hurricane, 36-36–72
Will Evans, Charleston, 36-36–72
Mark Johnson, Morgantown, 36-36–72
Harold Payne, Hurricane, 36-37–73
Chad Baldwin, Green Bank, 33-40–73
Thomas Frazier, Huntington, 38-35–73
Tim Mount, Huntington, 35-38–73
Evan Butcher, Madison, 35-38–73
Chris Boyd, Charles town, 35-38–73
Ben Palmer, Parkersburg, 37-36–73
Philip Reale, South Charleston, 35-39–74
Joshua Arbaugh, Morgantown, 36-38–74
Jerry Stutler, Spencer, 37-37–74
Steve Fox, Barboursville, 36-38–74
Nicholas Casingal, Charleston, 37-37–74
Karson Terry, Peterstown, 36-38–74
Owen Elliott, Hedgesville, 38-36–74
Patrick Smith, Beckley, 36-38–74
Jeff McGraw, Princeton, 35-39–74
Scott Barnicle, Morgantown, 38-36–74
Pat Parker, Lewisburg , 39-36–75
Jason Vass,  Fairmont, 36-39–75
Tyler Kondo, Morgantown, 39-36–75
Jeff Bryant, St Albans, 39-37–76
Alan Cooke, Vienna, 40-36–76
Steve Ross, Huntington, 37-39–76
Cole Moore, Spencer, 39-37–76
Isaiah Zaccheo, Beckley, 37-39–76
Todd Westfall, Bridgeport, 40-36–76
Kirk Lightner, Scott Depot, 38-38–76
Ryan Bashour, Morgantown, 38-38–76
Chris Daniels, Beckley, 39-38–77
Joey Seabright, Wheeling, 37-40–77
Aaron Persily, Charleston, 37-40–77
Tyler Hillyer, Princeton, 39-38–77
Landon Perry, Shady Spring, 37-40–77
Alex Easthom, Ravenswood, 37-40–77
Matt Pellillo, Fairmont, 39-38–77
Philip Zambos, White Sulphur Springs, 39-39–78
Michael Terry, Charleston, 40-38–78
Derek Brooks, Mullens, 38-40–78
Andy Michael, Huntington, 40-38–78
Caleb Cook, Oceana, 41-37–78
Kollin Hopwood, Elkins, 39-39–78
Mitch Hoffman, Poca, 35-43–78
Steven Nutter, St. Marys, 39-40–79
Michael Koreski, Parkersburg, 39-40–79
Mark Queen, Lavalette, 42-37–79
John Kingora, Morgantown, 40-39–79
David Bumgarner, Scott Depot, 42-37–79
Peyton Moore, New Martinsville, 42-37–79
Alex Hamrick, Red House, 38-41–79
Walker Dent, White Sulphur Springs, 40-39–79
Cam Roam, Huntington, 41-38–79
Christian McKisic, Buckhannon, 38-41–79
Caleb Lee, Worthington, 38-41–79
Nick Fleming, Cabins, 37-42–79
Ian Patrick Archer, Huntington, 39-41–80
Cole Hand, Wheeling, 37-43–80
Brian Myers, Hurricane, 38-42–80
Jacob Workman, Chapmanville, 40-40–80
Zach Chapman, Culloden, 40-40–80
Zach Gower, Clarksburg , 41-39–80
Brett Shreve, Elkins, 40-40–80
Benjamin Paul Knight, Harrisville , 42-38–80
Tyler Adkins, Charleston, 40-40–80
Mathew Sisson, Sissonville, 39-41–80
Andrew Chlon, Morgantown, 37-43–80
Andrew Call, Buckhannon, 41-40–81
Jeremy Vallet, Logan, 38-43–81
Reuben Prillaman, Oceana, 40-41–81
Brandon Steele, Charleston, 40-41–81
Jordan Covelli, Charleston, 42-39–81
Chase Voithofer, Morgantown, 40-41–81
Isaac Prine, Parkersburg, 43-38–81
Austin Florence, Charleston, 43-38–81
James Scott, Beckley, 39-42–81
Marco Oliverio, Bridgeport, 38-43–81
Joseph Kalaskey, S Charleston, 41-40–81
Chris Stansberry, Morgantown, 43-38–81
Jackson Hill, Beckley, 43-38–81
Chase Wolfe, Charleston, 40-41–81
Donny Smith, Hurricane, 40-41–81
Brandon Tinney, Hurricane, 43-39–82
David Cassis, Fayetteville, 41-41–82
Camden Moore, Spencer, 41-41–82
Michael Foust, Hurricane, 41-41–82
Hunter Owens, Oceana, 40-42–82
James Snavely, Hurricane, 40-42–82
Jess Ferrell, Fairmont, 39-44–83
John Auville, Charleston, 40-43–83
Mitch Roush, Mason, 40-43–83
Chandler Beavers, White Sulphur Springs, 40-43–83
Duke Erwin, Nitro, 43-40–83
Chris Eddy, Belmont, 40-43–83
Jerod Ewing, Hinton, 41-42–83
Carson Proffitt, Camp Creek, 41-42–83
Adam Sholes, Charleston, 40-44–84
Ty Queen, Lavalette, 41-43–84
Chase Wheeler, Huntington, 43-41–84
Mike Keiffer, Scott Depot, 45-40–85
Steve Thacker, Huntington, 45-41–86
Chad Griffith, Morgantown, 45-41–86
Joshua Martin, Poca, 42-44–86
Sterling Chafin, Madison, 39-47–86
Jason McClanahan, Charleston, 40-46–86
Christian Marsh, Bridgeport, 44-43–87
Freddie Fitzsimmons, Wheeling , 40-47–87
Adam Yeager, Huntington, 42-45–87
Brad Maynard, Barboursville, 44-44–88
Hayden Plummer, Parkersburg, 44-45–89
Jay Miller, Scott Depot, 44-47–91
James Harper, Ona, 45-46–91
Jeff Cable, Charleston, 46-46–92
Patrick Hutchinson, Bluefield, 46-53–99