State Am notebook: 2014 dates shifted for State Am, Open
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. - The West Virginia Amateur is on the move.
The state's premier event for amateur golfers will take place sometime in early-to-mid-June next year at The Greenbrier resort, according to West Virginia Golf Association executive director Ken Tackett on Tuesday.
For the last several years, the Amateur has been held the first week of August. The Amateur champion in 2014 will earn an exemption into the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic the Fourth of July weekend. However, this year's winner will not earn the automatic bid into the Classic. The 2014 Am winner will only have about a month before the Classic instead of nearly a year.
The WVGA will also move the West Virginia Open to later in July. Recently, the Open has been held in late June, coinciding with the PGA Professional National Championship, also known as the National Club Pro. Several state pros who have qualified for the national event opt to play in that instead of the State Open.
"We were glad to get rid of the conflict with the State Open,'' said Tackett. "[Greenbrier resort owner Jim] Justice left it up to us to say, 'You can handle the [Amateur] exemption however you want to.' At the same time, he kind of showed a commitment to us that this is something he wants to continue to do.''
Tackett said the Amateur and Open probably aren't done moving around the summer calendar.
"2016 is the [year of the] Olympics so the whole golf world is going to get turned upside down,'' he said. "They're going to have to move the PGA Championship, and when you start moving majors it's a trickle down.
"Then it'll affect your qualifying, your Greenbrier Classics, then it'll affect your regional and state associations. I think what'll stick, the Amateur will be first and the Open later.''
Tackett said the Amateur's future at The Greenbrier is on solid footing.
"The relationship with The Greenbrier and the West Virginia Golf Association is stronger than ever,'' he said. "The commitment from Mr. Justice ... it's a gentlemen's handshake [agreement] that we'll be here forever.''
One of Tuesday's day's sub-par rounds at the Amateur was turned in by 15-year-old Cam Moore of Spencer.
After carding a 9-over-par 79 in Monday's opening round on the par-70 Old White TPC, the Roane County High School sophomore turned in a 2-under 68 on the par-72 Greenbrier Course. Moore made the cut, which includes the top 40 scores including ties after the first two rounds.
"It was really solid," Moore said of his second round. "I started off with a bogey and that kind of hurt because I was thinking I really needed to play good today to make the cut. Something just clicked. Coming in I had about four pars in a row, up-and-downs from some pretty crazy places.
"I putted really well. The first nine holes I hit a lot of drives in the fairway. I just hit the green and two-putted. Coming down the stretch I got kind of nervous, but I thought I handled it pretty good.''
Moore was part of Roane County's Class AA state championship team last fall as a freshman, earning all-state honors for finishing in the top 10 individually. The Raiders return Moore and his twin brother Cole plus another younger brother Caleb, who made the team as a freshman Monday, to go along with three returning players, including last year's individual champion Alston Spears.
"We're looking for a repeat,'' Moore said.
The top five finishers under the age of 21 at the Amateur will qualify for the 17th Faldo Series Grand Final Oct. 22-24 at The Greenbrier, an invitation-only event.
Faldo, a six-time major winner and now a commentator for CBS, created the series in 1996 to give young people opportunities through golf and nurture the next generation. There are now 38 tournaments in 28 countries worldwide for boys and girls ages 12-21. There is also a separate Faldo Series in Asia.
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4811.