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W.Va. Amateur notebook: Bridgeport native, girlfriend deal with Penn State issues

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- The multiple differing viewpoints about the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case even stretch onto the golf course, which is unfortunate for two Penn State rising seniors who happened to be at the 93rd West Virginia Amateur on Wednesday.

Bridgeport's Jay Woodward, who is in a three-way tie for the lead, will begin his senior year at Penn State this month.

He said it's just a "curveball that you have to deal with," and it hasn't made his life "harder," despite the daily questions.

His girlfriend, who is in White Sulphur Springs with him, also is beginning her senior year this fall at Penn State.

The 21-year-old Megan Markovitz, however, is a cheerleader and closer to the situation than many of the students at State College. She has spent the vast majority of her Saturday afternoons on the sideline in the fall cheering on the Nittany Lions.

That won't change this year, even if the Nittany Lions can't go to a bowl game and even if the all-time leader in football coaching victories, the late Joe Paterno, has 111 fewer wins.

She won't be able to escape the steady questions and admits it gets a little tiring.

"I guess, for a lot of people, when you go out and have Penn State things on, and you're supposed to be representing it with pride and people are looking down on it for things that you weren't associated with," Markovitz said. "I'm behind them 100 percent and I think we'll stay together and overcome that."

Woodward tries to keep his opinions to himself about his feelings on the situation.

Markovitz admits the whole situation is "just terrible," but isn't sure the school's athletic programs should have been punished the way they were by the NCAA because of the actions of a few.

"I talk to a lot of people who don't necessarily like Penn State, but they think the sanctions were completely inappropriate," Markovitz said. "I personally don't think it had anything to do with the athletes, taking away the wins that the players on the field accomplished, taking away scholarships and hurting us academically.

"Kids who wanted to go for the education and play a sport might not now, because they might not have that money to go."

Among the sanctions was a four-year ban on postseason play, a reduction of scholarships (20 over a four-year span) and a $60 million fine.

This is something the school will overcome, Markovitz said, but it's been difficult.

"We all love Joe Paterno and wish this never happened," she said.

*  *  *

HURRICANE'S Sam O'Dell wasn't in the mood to talk after shooting a 2-over 74 during the third round at the Greenbrier Course.

He has eight top 10 finishes in his 18 appearances in the Amateur, but doesn't have a win.

O'Dell, who finished in a tie for second last year, isn't confident it'll happen this year. His 74 included four bogeys, four birdies and one double-bogey. He's six shots back of the lead, which O'Dell believes is insurmountable.

"I'd probably have a shoot a 65, which I couldn't come close to shooting at this point," O'Dell said. "I struggled.

"I don't think it's out there. You'd have to have everything go right. I'm confident over the ball, I'm just mad right now. I have to go to the driving range."

*  *  *

SCOTT DEPOT'S Chris Williams is impatient.

Despite his rapid ascension to success this year, he's ready to win now.

However, a 3-over 75 at the Greenbrier Course put him in sixth place, four shots off the lead.

"I'm really impatient right now," said Williams, who will be in the second-to-last group teeing off today at 9:39 a.m. "After two good rounds, I think I put too much pressure on myself. I knew I wanted to be in the lead."

Williams managed an eagle on No. 8, but had two double bogeys.

*  *  *

BUCKHANNON'S Jeremy Rogers went 2-under after finishing with a birdie and shares the lead with Woodward and Pat Carter.

"Game's been pretty good so far coming into the Amateur," said Rogers, a rising junior at Marshall University. "I just happened to be rolling them in here and there."

Rogers, Woodward and Carter will be in the final group at 9:48 a.m.

The final round at the Old White TPC today begins at 8 a.m. when Hurricane's John Duty Sr., Triadelphia's Larry Vallar and Morgantown 15-year-old Cale Wheeler tee off.

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at or 304-348-4837.


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