Bradshaw leads pack

VIENNA -There’s a reason why David Bradshaw of Harpers Ferry won’t allow himself to get sidetracked and listen to the crowd noise taking place throughout Parkersburg County Club during today’s final round of the 80th West Virginia Open.

The only score he’s concerned with is his own and perhaps those playing in the final group.

“On Friday, it will be right in front of you,” said Bradshaw, who carded his second straight round of 3-under par 69 and will be seeking his seventh West Virginia Open title. “I’ll be playing with the guys closest to me and I’ll know what they are doing. I don’t have to listen to anybody. I can just look.”

A three-hole gap separates Bradshaw from his nearest competition – Bridgeport’s Woody Woodward, who recently graduated from Hilton Head Prep in South Carolina and will be attending Wake Forest in the fall.

Woodward, who played in the same threesome as Bradshaw, settled into a hotspell after recording five birdies in a span of seven holes. The 19-year-old finished with a 5-under 67, which resulted in the low round of the day, and owns a two-day total of 3-under 141.

“If I can put a round like that together again I should have a chance,” Woodward said. “As far as being in contention, I just want to go out and have fun, and play my game.”

Rounding out the final group for today’s 11 a.m. tee time is Hurricane’s Sam O’Dell, who climbed to within two strokes of Bradshaw at one juncture before suffering two bogeys and one double-bogey during his final six holes. Overall, O’Dell sits alone in third place at 2-under 142.

Lurking in the shadows at 1-under 143 are a trio consisting of two-time Open champ John Ross, Vienna’s Scott Bibbee and Morgantown pro Bob Friend.

Friend opened his round with 15 straight pars before suffering his only bogey at the 16th hole. The birdie was definitely elusive for him as he finished with a round of 1-over 73.

“I didn’t play poorly; I just had one of those days,” Friend said. “It tries your patience, but I’m hitting the ball relatively solid. I rolled the ball well, but nothing went in. I’m just going home knowing I’m owed quite a few Friday.”

“I’ll just need to be very aggressive. Hopefully a few more putts drop as opposed to what happened today.”

A total of 62 golfers made the cut at 9-over 153. Among those helping their cause substantially with rounds under par were Christian Brand (73-71-144), Brian Anania (75-70-145), Bosten Miller (75-70-145), Duke Erwin (76-71-147) and Josh Webb (77-71-148)

But the one individual the field will be targeting is Bradshaw.

“I just have to clean it up a little,” Bradshaw said. “I don’t think my ball striking has been very good the past two days. I’ve hit a lot of greens in regulation, but I haven’t put many shots within 15 feet. I’ve had a lot of lag putting the last few days.

“There’s lots of birdies to made on this course. I just have to stay in the moment the best I can.”