WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS. W.Va. — With the Old White TPC playing long and giving most of the field fits, Brian Anania rode a steady finish to the State Amateur championship.
The 22-year-old Hurricane High graduate and former Marshall golfer shot even-par 70 on Friday and closed the tournament at 1-over, good enough for a two-shot victory and an exemption for the upcoming Greenbrier Classic.
Anania closed the day with four consecutive pars to become youngest State Am champion since 1989, when then-21 Pat Carter captured the first of his 13 titles.
Carter finished 10 shots back after settling for a 6-over round Friday. He had company in his misery as 34 of the top 40 golfers failed to shoot par.
Anania had been 2-over during Wednesday’s second round at Old White, but he managed the course well at 6,912 yards on the final day.
Runner-up Evan Muscari of Pineville closed with a 69 to finish at 3-over. Coincidentally, Muscari was the Class AA state medalist for Wyoming East in 2009, the same year Anania was the Class AAA medalist for Hurricane.
First-round leader Woody Woodward of Bridgeport was tied with Anania through 12 holes before a double bogy on No. 13 signaled a late slide. The Wake Forest golfer wound up with a final-round 72 and 5-over for the tournament.
Defending champion Sam O’Dell of Hurricane and Tad Tomblin of Alum Creek tied for fourth place at 7-over.
Davey Jude produced the strongest closing round at 67, helping him climb into a ninth-place tie at 11-over.