Poca’s Mitch Hoffman grabs early lead at 101st WV Amateur

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Poca’s Mitch Hoffman beat the rain and for the first day, beat the field at the 101st West Virginia Amateur. Hoffman fired an opening round of 3-under-par to take a one-shot lead into Wednesday’s second round at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs.

Hoffman put five birdies on his card on the front nine, firing a 31. A double bogey on the 12th hole stalled his momentum, but his round of 67 held up as the best of the day. Hoffman got into the clubhouse before a pair of weather delays that delayed the afternoon wave of golfers on the Meadows course. Play concluded just before nightfall.

“I was definitely happy to beat the rain,” Hoffman said. “At the (West Virginia) Open this year I got the bad pairing. I got the rain and the wind the next day.”

The University of Charleston rising junior will tee off at noon Wednesday as the golfers shift to The Old White TPC course. After the second round, the field will be cut to the low fifty players and ties.

“I wanted to shoot something under par to get this thing started. A couple birdies early really helped.

“You get into that zone and I didn’t even realize it. I looked back and I shot 31 (on the front 9). That’s pretty good.”

Defending champion Mason Williams is tied for second with last year’s runner-up Philip Reale and Noah Mullens at 2-under. Ryan Bilby, Steve Fox, Alex Easthom, Chase Wolfe and Sam Harrison are all tied for fifth, two shots back at 1-under. Five more golfers are three shots back, including 13-time champion Pat Carter.

Hoffman picked up the game of golf in unique fashion during his freshman season at Poca High School.

“I grew up playing baseball and basketball, pretty much anything but golf. Me and my father played a little bit growing up. When I got to high school, a couple of my buddies asked me to join the golf team. They needed another guy to have four for a team. I thought I would give it a shot. I fell in love with it after that.”

Hoffman earned first-team All-Mountain East Conference honors at Charleston in the 2019-2020 season.

As a graduate of the ‘Dots’. Hoffman received a special greeting at the start of his round.

“Ed McCall is the starter. He starts every WVGA event. He always says, ‘Now on the tee, Mitch ‘The Dot’ Hoffman’.”

First round results/Second round tee times

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