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Glade Springs 'good to go' after Friday storms

While very few parts of the state escaped the wrath of Friday evening's severe storm, the Resort at Glade Springs dodged a bullet.

The resort in Daniels is scheduled to host the Greenbrier Classic qualifier on Monday and all indications are that the event will go off without a hitch.

"I talked to the head professional [Saturday] morning and they lost between 25 and 30 trees, but no significant damage to the golf course,'' said qualifier director David Wright during a cell phone interview Saturday evening from Pittsburgh.

"There are a couple of tee boxes torn up, but no significant damage. They said they'll be ready to go for Monday. They've assured me we'd be good to go.''

The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, which is the site of this week's Greenbrier Classic PGA Tour event, received extensive damage but is also planning on being ready for Monday's practice rounds for the PGA professionals.

The top four finishers from Monday's 86-player qualifier, which so far includes 16 PGA Tour veterans, advance to the Greenbrier Classic, which tees off competitive rounds Thursday.

Wright said a PGA Tour representative called him Saturday morning to check on Glade Springs' condition.

"We should be able to pull it off,'' Wright said. "I'm actually looking for a shootout if the conditions are right, which they should be for a golf course that was spectacular [for a pre-qualifier] Thursday. I'm looking forward to see what the PGA Tour guys can do.''

In the Kanawha Valley, the 11-12-year-old Little League baseball tournament at Nitro City Park was in limbo.

Tournament play was postponed Saturday because of widespread power outages and Fred Bias, a vice president with the host Nitro-Cross Lanes Little League, isn't sure when the tournament will resume.

Bias said Friday's storm ripped the roof off the press box and littered the field with debris.

"It was really bad,'' he said. "That's probably one of the worst storms I've seen. We have no way to do anything over there right now.

"The power company is saying it might be five to seven days. I don't think it'll be that long. We'll just have to wait and see. We're in a situation with the field where we can play. It's just getting the rest of the stuff up and going. We have no ice, no concessions and no power.''

Bias said fans were already having trouble with Friday's heat during the opening game, which was suspended in the top of the third inning with Nitro holding an 8-0 lead over Charleston Northeast when the tempest hit.

"We had people fainting,'' he said. "If we get in a situation where we have to provide first aid, we just don't have it available.''

The West Virginia Chaos resumed its matchup with Fredericksburg (Va.) on Saturday, taking a 5-0 decision at Trace Fork in a Premier Development League game.

The contest was originally scheduled for Friday, but was postponed and moved from Schoenbaum Soccer Stadium in Coonskin Park, which was closed Saturday due to storm damage. The two teams played about a minute and a half Friday before the storm hit.

"You look at the distances the teams have to travel to get here and weigh that against the weather and basically make a decision and both teams wanted to play," said Chaos co-owner Dan Rollins of taking the pitch Saturday even though most of Kanawha County was without power.

 "There's a couple of factors that go into it. One, the cost is probably about $2,000 a trip when you add in the hotels, rental vans, and gas and everything. The other factor is the league has really compressed our schedule this year. We play every weekend and you'd be looking at trying to get a trip midweek in and some trips we already have scheduled midweek."

Rollins said this summer's weather has been tough.

"Last year we had a couple of games that were very hot, about 95 degrees,'' he said. "But not this bad, the weather has been a challenge."

Several golf courses in the Kanawha Valley also escaped serious damage.

"I think we were one of the lucky ones,'' said Cliff Wheeler, the pro shop attendant at Big Bend Golf Course in Tornado.

"We had a couple of limbs that fell, but other than that ... there's some leaves and branches on the golf course. We had a tournament this morning and I've got guys out there now. Tomorrow will be a busy day. I've got tee times booked from 7:30 to 12 o'clock.''

Barry Evans, the head golf professional at Berry Hills Country Club, said the course didn't suffer any catastrophic damage.

"We're OK,'' he said. "We had a boatload of trees down and a tremendous amount of debris. When I got there this morning it looked like a war zone.

"There was nothing critical or that's going to affect a hole or anything. The grounds crew was there and working on it and we'll probably be open tomorrow. We had three trees across our entrance road. Everybody came together with chainsaws and got the trees taken care of.''

Staff writer Ryan Pritt contributed to this report.

Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkinson@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.


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