Cooke stays on leader’s trail at W.Va. State Am

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -Former Parkersburg High School standout Alan Cooke is in second place heading into today’s third round of the 94th West Virginia Amateur, taking place at the Greenbrier Resort.

The Vienna resident birdied his final two holes in Tuesday’s second round to finish with a 67. That score, the second best of the day, combined with Cooke’s opening-day 71 gives him a two-day of four-under par and makes him one of just three golfers in red figures at the tournament’s halfway point.

Leading the way is Hurricane’s Sam O’Dell, who followed up his opening-day 68 with a blistering 66 on Tuesday. O’Dell stands at 8-under par and holds a four-stroke lead over Cooke, the only golfer with a legitimate chance of keeping O’Dell from claiming the title. O’Dell, who finished as the runner-up to David Bradshaw at the West Virginia Open earlier this summer at the Parkersburg Country Club, recorded a pair of eagles during his Tuesday round.

The only other golfer to break par over the first two days was consistent Thadd Obecny II of Wheeling, who has fired rounds of 70 and 71.

The trio of Cooke, O’Dell and Obecny will make up the final threesome today. They will tee off at 10:06 a.m.

Cooke was pleased with his performance.

“I hit the ball a little closer today. I didn’t really stick any on the Old White. Whatever I wanted to hit with an iron or a driver I was hitting it. I think I had total control of my game today in everything I was doing.

“Overall, I’m extremely happy. Sam is a great player. I’m not usually the best putter, but today I was rolling the ball pretty good. I made some good putts, some 20 and 30 footers. Even if I didn’t make it, I was just skimming the edge of the hole.”

Cooke isn’t the only member of his family participating in the event. His father, Matt, is serving as his caddie.

A total of eight golfers managed to break par Tuesday, including Spencer’s Cam Moore. The sophomore at Roane County High School bogeyed his first hole of the day then played 3-under the rest of the way for a 2-under 70. Moore (79-70-149) is tied for 15th place entering today’s final round.

Also securing an additional two rounds of golf were Parkersburg’s Jeff Harper (72-76-148); former Glenville High School standout Philip Reale II (73-75-148); Mason’s Trent Roush (74-74-148); and Elizabeth’s Matthew Moore (77-78-155).

A total of 13 local golfers failed to make the cut. The list included Vienna’s Chris Barlament (71-86-157); Parkersburg’s Michael Koreski (81-76-157); Williamstown’s Steve Jackson (79-79-158); Williamstown’s Austin Root (85-74-159); Parkersburg’s Timothy Tedrick (81-78-159); Mineral Wells’ Alex Schreckengost (80-82-162); Vienna’s John Fanta (77-86-163); Parkersburg’s Chuck Henderson (81-83-164); Vienna’s Randy Rogers (77-90-167); Vienna’s Tyler Cardenas (86-82-168); Ripley’s Thomas Motes (87-82-169); Parkersburg’s Dexter Hughes (78-91-170); and Ripley’s Ronald Waybright (103-97-200).