CHARLESTON — Sam O'Dell, who has won the last two West Virginia Amateur golf titles and four overall, has officially withdrawn from the 100th edition of the tournament, set to start Tuesday at The Greenbrier.
O'Dell's son Carson is a member of the Hurricane team that won the 10-12 Little League state championship this past week in South Charleston, qualifying for the Southeast Region Tournament in Warner Robins, Georgia.
Play in that regional tournament begins on Friday, the scheduled last day of the West Virginia Amateur. As an assistant coach, O'Dell must attend a coach's meeting on Wednesday.
Though O'Dell said he hates to miss the Amateur, he also said the decision wasn't necessarily a difficult one.
"I'd drop out of the Masters to be able to be at this game," O'Dell said. "There's no way I would not be there. They've been working for three, four, five years and even more than that to get here. As much as I hate missing the Am, I'm excited."
O'Dell was gunning for a third title in a row and with a fifth, would tie long-time mentor Harold Payne in terms of Amateur championships.
"I hate to miss it, especially with it being the 100th Am and being on the executive committee, I think they've got some special things coming for the 100th," he said. "Trying to tie Harold and win three in a row - it might be hard to have another chance at three in a row."