CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Sissonville native Matt Hicks misses the mountains of West Virginia, whether he was tucked between them at his Kanawha County hometown or West Liberty State College.
Hicks returns to the Mountain State for the first time since January 2012 when he competes in the U.S. Open local qualifier at the Edgewood Country Club.
Hicks is one of 47 players who will gather at the plush 6,900-yard, par-71 layout off Derrick's Creek Road.
"I haven't played Edgewood in more than a year and a half," said Hicks, who won the 2010 qualifier at Edgewood. "I haven't been in West Virginia since January 2012 and I was just visiting my family, and I didn't play, but I pretty much know every break of the greens."
There are 111 local qualifiers across the United States with players seeking spots in sectional qualifiers. The top three players from Edgewood Country Club will play in a sectional qualifier on June 3 at one of 11 locations. There also will be two alternates.
Wednesday's competition will be a return to competitive golf for Hicks, a 2002 graduate of Sissonville High School and 2005 West Virginia Conference Player of the Year at West Liberty.
Hicks is the outside operations supervisor at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Among his responsibilities is handling the bagger staff, the marshals and rangers on four courses at the resort.
His big plan to seek his PGA Tour card, however, haven't been put on hold.
The third-place finisher at the 2005 State Amateur said he had to "pay the bills," although he has a "pretty good gig."
"I just kind of ran into that job," Hicks said. "I have pretty good perks. I get lessons from the David Ledbetter guys and the Dave Pell short-game school. I get to practice on all of the courses there."
That includes the PGA National Champion Course where the PGA Tour's Honda Classic is contested.
He doesn't do much playing between November and May, but his schedule becomes more open in the summer months.