DANIELS, W.Va. — Nothing was bugging Kenny Hess on the final day of the West Virginia Open.
After a rough second round — when a bug buzzing in his face on the fifth hole led to a triple-bogey — Hess rallied during Thursday’s final round to capture his first West Virginia Open title at the Cobb Course at the Resort at Glade Springs.
Hess and second-round leader Thadd Obecny battled throughout the day for the championship, which came down to the final hole. On the third shot for both, Obecny missed the green and Hess’ shot landed 5 feet from the hole. Obecny parred the 18th and Hess tapped in for birdie to win.
That birdie capped a 6-under-par final round for the Parkersburg native.
Hess finished the first round with a two-shot lead over a five-golfer group that included Obecny, then watched Obecny surge past him on the second day by firing a 4-under-par 32 on the back nine to take a three-shot lead into Thursday. That lead, obviously, was not insurmountable.
Hess cut a three-shot lead to one by the turn in the third round, shooting 2-under to that point. Then on No. 15, Hess was able to pull into a tie. His wedge shot from 100 yards lipped out of the hole and he was able to tap in for birdie.
Both golfers birdied the par-4 16th — Obecny got his second shot to 15 feet from the hole and Hess followed with a shot to 3 feet — and shot par on the 17th to set up the showdown on the final hole.
Charleston’s Will Evans shot 7-under Thursday to finish at 2-under for the tournament and take third place. Eleven-time champion David Bradshaw and two-time champion Christian Brand, of Scott Depot, both finished at 1-under for the tournament and tied for fourth. Bradshaw’s Open winning streak was snapped this year at four. Only five golfers finished the Open under par.
Nick Fleming, of Cabins, West Virginia, shot even par for the tournament to claim its low amateur award, while Huntington’s Pat Carter won the low senior award with a 1-over-par final score.
The West Virginia Golf Association also announced Thursday that the 2021 West Virginia Open will be held at the Pete Dye Golf Club in Bridgeport.