WHITE SULPHER SPRINGS, W.Va.– No one would blame Brian Anania if he is a little awe struck when he tees it up for the opening round of the Greenbrier Classic, it’s not every day you get the chance to play with the tour pros you’ve grown up watching.
“I’m sure it will really it me once I get down to the Greenbrier,” said Anania.
Anania earned his opportunity by winning the West Virginia Amateur earlier this month and getting an exemption into the fifth Greenbrier Classic. In fact, he captured his long-awaited championship on the same course he’ll play this week, the Old White TPC.
“I’ve been fortunate enough through they ears to play a lot of golf there. I’m pretty comfortable with the golf course and like it there.”
The Hurricane native is the third former Herd golfer in the last four years to earn his way into the Classic by winning the West Virginia Amateur. Christian Brand made the field in 2011 and Pat Carter played with the PGA pros last year. Neither was able to make the 36-hole cut.
“I want to go four rounds,” he said. “That’s hasn’t been done (by a West Virginia Amateur champ). That would be huge for me.”
“I’m sure I’m going to be a little nervous but I’m going to try to have fun with it. I’m going to try to meet some of the guys and just try to make it a great experience and see what happens.”
While Anania is trying not to amped up over the chance, he thought about the foursome he’d like to play with on the first day.
“It’d be really cool to play with Jason Bay, Bubba Watson or Tom Watson would be cool to play with,” Anania said.
The Greenbrier Classic is the icing on the cake for Anania who was a Conference USA all-academic selection, earned his degree, won the State Amateur and led Marshall to a school-record three team titles during the 2013-14 season.
“I’ve just been working hard at it and doing ht stuff I usually do. I haven’t done anything differently,” Anania said of his preparations for the Classic.
“I think it is just great for the state. Not having much professional sports in the state it brings a huge event that people want to go see. It’s a pretty cool week and something we’ve never had in West Virginia.”