WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — A sand save on the 72nd hole of the tournament allowed Alex Easthom to claim the 101st West Virginia Amateur championship. Easthom took a one-shot lead onto the No. 18 tee box but pulled his tee shot on the par 3 into the bunker left of the green.
His response was picture perfect. Easthom’s second shot caught the slope on the green and cozied up to within about a foot of the cup. Easthom tapped in for par to secure a one-stroke victory.
“I thought ‘uh-oh’. When I stepped into the bunker it was very hard. They got wet from all the rain so I knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy up and down. It was going to be tough. And not to mention, I couldn’t take my normal bunker swing at it because of where the ball sat.”
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Easthom entered the final round tied for the lead with 13-time champion Pat Carter at 3-under-par. Carter charged on the back nine, making birdies on No. 14 and No. 17. But a bogey on No. 18 put him in the clubhouse at 2-under-par.
Bridgeport native and defending champion Mason Williams and former WVU golfer Chris Williams both surged on the final day. They each shot 65 and held the clubhouse lead at 3-under before Easthom’s late heroics.
Easthom played well following a 90-minute rain delay. Tied for the lead at 3-under, he made eagle on No. 10 and birdie on No. 11 to open up a 4-shot cushion on the field at 6-under-par. He held on despite bogeys on No. 13 and No. 14.
“I was extremely confident. The finishing holes are are so tough, especially where the tees were. It makes it tough coming down the last few holes. So to get to 6-under with those holes left, I knew I had a tiny bit of a cushion to rely on.”
Easthom claimed the WVGA Junior Amateur championship in 2018 and this is his first state amateur title.
“This is the one I have wanted to win since I was fifteen. I got here for the first time then. I have been wanting it for five or six years. So I was pretty excited.”