"This course is decent, it's not that hard when it's normal, but when they put it like this, and 'tip' everything out, this is an extremely hard golf course."
Ken Tackett, executive director of the WVGA, said the tournament committee got creative - too much so, some players would say.
"It's our state championship, and [the scores] aren't that bad," Tackett said. "We had a 67 and a 69. It's right where we want it; the conditions are so soft that you're really able to hide the hole locations and the good players can throw right at it. The rough is in perfect shape, the greens are firming up, the foot traffic is getting better and better.
"Tomorrow should be perfect."
More and more, "pace of play" is the buzzword in tournament golf, and the state Open is no different.
The threesome of Woody Woodward, leader David Bradshaw and Christian Brand was caught several times waiting on the threesome in front. Sometimes there was trouble, such as a player losing his ball; sometimes they seemed to bog down.
Then again, Woodward is one of the fastest players around, and Bradshaw and Brand are not slowpokes. When they got in their rhythm, they seemed to play better, too.
All problems were ironed out and everybody lived to tell about it, penalty-free - as usual.
"Today, we had a couple of groups who were struggling for a while," Tackett said. "Being on 'cart path only' and you hit a couple of bad shots and have to go back to your cart, go back over to your ball, and then you start grinding trying to save [your round].
"We had no rounds, today or yesterday, over 5 hours. They're all between 4 and 4:45, and we're happy with that - especially with 'cart path only.'"
Sixty-two players made the cut of 9-over 153. The ones making it on the number included two Kanawha Valley players heading to college careers, Chris Williams of Scott Depot (Coastal Carolina) and Will Evans of Charleston (Marshall).
Other Valley players who will tee it up today: Brand, Bosten Miller, Phillip Reale II, Duke Erwin, Tyler Franklin and Carl Roncaglione of Charleston; Sam O'Dell, Brian Anania, Scott Davis and Brandon Tinney of Hurricane; Joshua Wolfe of Elkview; and Robert Jones of St. Albans.
Other notables included Tad Tomblin of Alum Creek at 4 over and veteran amateur contender Steve Fox at 8 over.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.