WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. - The 94th State Amateur began Wednesday with 36 holes remaining, but Hurricane's Sam O'Dell was in no mood to mess around with the teenagers in his group.
Mission accomplished during a round of fairways all day.
O'Dell birdied the first hole on the Greenbrier Course to extend his lead to five strokes and, 17 holes later, pushed it to a nine-stroke advantage entering today's final round on the Old White TPC.
His goal was to put pressure on Vienna 19-year-old Alan Cooke and Wheeling 17-year-old Thadd Obecny, and it was noticeable after one 423-yard, par 4 hole.
"On one, is when that happened," said the 35-year-old O'Dell, who bogeyed the Greenbrier Course's first hole on Tuesday. "I really, really, really wanted to get off to a good start because of that. If I make birdie on Pat Carter on the first hole, he doesn't care ... doesn't care.
"I wanted to hit it solid and hit a bunch of good golf shots at the beginning. I knew if I could get out there and hit it, it'd be like, 'Wow, he's here today, too.' And, that's how it started out."
Cooke, who started the day four strokes back, and Obecny, who was seven behind, cared.
"Thadd was joking about my putting (Tuesday)," O'Dell said. "Today, he was like, 'Oh, fairway, what a surprise.'"
O'Dell putted well on Tuesday to shoot a 6-under 66 and was hitting fairways Wednesday to shoot a 3-under 69. His round was everywhere as evidence of his aggressiveness on the Greenbrier's forgiving greens.
He had two eagles, four birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey. He only had eight pars.
"I'm more aggressive on (the Greenbrier), for sure," O'Dell said. "I think a lot of these greens aren't as sloped over here so if you can get it out in a position that you can go at it, you have a putt you can make."
Obecny had a par on No. 1 and said it wasn't until two holes later that he started feeling the pressure.
"He just kept making putts on me," he said. "When I bogeyed 3 and he parred, I put myself behind the eight ball. When the other guy's making putts from everywhere, it obviously takes its toll on everybody."
Obecny rebounded on 14 with an eagle that put him 1-over for the day, but a triple bogey on No 17 pushed him into a tie for fifth place with Madison's Harry Howell and out of today's final group.