State Open All But Locked Up by Woodson

Jay Woodson has a seven shot lead going into Sunday's final round of the State Open of Virginia.

To see where area golfers Faber Jamerson, Chip Sullivan, Jeff Thomas, and Jimmy Flippen are on the leaderboard, please CLICK HERE.

Martinsville's Keith Decker withdrew from the tournament.


From the VSGA:

MIDLOTHIAN -- An eagle-birdie start to the back nine propelled defending champion Jay Woodson to a 3-under-par 68 in Saturday's third round of the State Open of Virginia and a seven-stroke advantage going into Sunday's finale.

Woodson, a 31-year-old professional from Powhatan who plays on the developmental NGA Tour, has compiled a 54-hole total of 12-under 201 on the 7,026-yard, par-71 Independence Golf Club layout.

Counting the last three rounds of last year's championship, Woodson has posted six consecutive scores in the 60s in the State Open.

Woodson began the third round with a four-stroke advantage over amateur Chris O'Neill, 20, of Glen Allen who held on to second place at 5-under 208 by shooting 71 on Saturday. Cameron Yancey of Blackstone, the low professional in the 2010 State Open, moved into the third spot and into today's final pairing with a 4-under 67 and is at 3-under 210.

Five players are at 2-under 211: PGA professional John O'Leary (73) of Reston; PGA assistant professional Robert Taylor (73) of Zion Crossroads; 2005 State Open champion Ted Brown of Richmond, whose 66 was the low score of the third round; past VSGA Amateur champion Scott Shingler (71) of Haymarket and two-time VSGA Amateur finalist Ji Soo Park (71) of Clifton.

Richmond amateurs Chris Kapsak and Mark Lawrence Jr. are at 1-under 212 after posting 67 and 70 respectively.

The number of competitors in red figures dwindled to 10 from 18.

Woodson won back-to-back VSGA Amateur titles in 2002-03 and is on track to become the first player to successfully defend a State Open championship since amateur Keith Decker did it in 2002 after winning in 2001.

No professional has won back-to-back State Open titles since the Virginia State Golf Association and Middle Atlantic Section of the PGA of America merged separate Opens in 1985. Bobby Wadkins won three consecutive VPGA Opens from 1981-83.

Woodson began last year's final round with a one-shot lead and won by four. The last State Open runaway was in 2011 when amateur Dr. Roger Newsom led by six after 54 holes and won by eight strokes.

"I've got the same game plan that I've had the whole week, and I'm going to stick with it and stay focused on what I can control," Woodson said.

Woodson is coming off his best finish of the year in an NGA Tour event. He shot 15 under and finished seventh in Mississippi last week in his first outing since his wife, Erin, gave birth to their son, Trey, on June 15.

The eagle and birdie on the back nine "were pretty much the only highlights of the day," Woodson said. "I felt I could have been two or three under on the front and walked away with even par (two birdies and two bogeys).

To encourage players to drive to drive the green on the par-4 10th, the tees were moved to 295 yards. Woodson hit his 3-wood 5 feet from the hole and sank the putt. He rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 11.

He also sank 3- to 4-foot par putts at Nos. 12 and 13 and holed a 5-footer for par at No. 14 after a magnificent flop shot from deep rough behind the green.

"That was pretty good," Woodson said. "That's one of those shots where you get up there and you don't have any other option Sometimes when your back is against the wall, you really focus and you pull it off. I actually hit it better than I thought I was going to hit it."

O'Neill, a Deep Run High graduate and the No. 1 player on the University of Michigan golf team this season as a freshman, was frustrated by a day of driving the ball well, but not hitting second shots close and not making any putts. He had one birdie and one bogey.

"I just didn't have a feel for the greens today. I wasn't even hitting good putts," O'Neill said. "It's some mechanical things I can work on and come back tomorrow. He's playing so well he's going to be pretty much impossible to catch, but I'm going to give it my best shot."

Arthur Utley, a longtime sports reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, is writing at this week's State Open of Virginia.

MIDLOTHIAN -- Results following the third round of the 2013 State Open of Virginia at Independence Golf Club (7,026 yards, par 36-35--71) on Saturday, July 20.

(a) - denotes amateur

Jay Woodson (Richmond), 65-68-68--201

(a) - Chris O'Neill (Glen Allen), 70-67-71--208

Cameron Yancey (Blackstone), 70-73-67--210

(a) - Scott Shingler (Haymarket), 75-65-71--211

(a) - Ji Soo Park (Clifton), 69-71-71--211

John O'Leary, PGA (Reston), 71-67-73--211

Robert Taylor, PGA (Zion Crossroads), 71-67-73--211

Ted Brown (Glen Allen), 70-75-66--211

(a) - Christopher Kapsak (Richmond), 75-70-67--212

(a) - Mark Lawrence Jr. (Richmond), 74-68-70--212

(a) - Vincent Nadeau (Gordonsville), 70-69-74--213

(a) - Matthew Ball Jr. (Richmond), 68-76-69--213

(a) - Bryce Chalkley (Richmond), 70-71-72--213

Michael Wade (Christiansburg), 68-73-72--213

Adam Decker, PGA (Mechanicsville), 72-69-72--213

Patrick Hawkins, PGA (Richmond), 69-72-72--213

Ricky Touma, PGA (Olney, Md.), 70-71-72--213

Steven Pierce (Centreville), 70-70-73--213

(a) - Mikey Moyers (Stanardsville), 71-70-73--214

(a) - Weston Eklund (Charlottesville), 73-70-71--214

Faber Jamerson, PGA (Appomattox), 72-69-73--214

Mike Gooden, PGA (McGaheysville), 65-76-73--214

(a) - Ryan Patrick (Reston), 72-73-69--214

John Francisco, PGA (Westminster, Md.), 72-71-71--214

(a) - Richard Hanna (Virginia Beach), 72-70-73--215

Jon Corliss, PGA (Virginia Beach), 71-73-71--215

Chip Sullivan, PGA (Salem), 69-74-72--215

(a) - Jon Hurst (Fredericksburg), 73-70-73--216

Brendan McGrath, PGA (Centreville), 73-72-71--216

Rick Schuller, PGA (Chester), 73-72-72--217

(a) - Ben Beach (Glen Allen), 71-75-71--217

(a) - Matthew Brittain (Abingdon), 68-71-78--217

Ryan Zylstra (Glen Allen), 76-72-69--217

Yong Joo (Bristow), 73-72-72--217

Randolph Darden III, PGA (Radford), 73-73-72--218

(a) - Jack Adkins (Martinsville), 73-72-74--219

(a) - Ashton Newsom (Chesapeake), 73-75-71--219

(a) - Ryan Douglass (Leesburg), 73-73-73--219

(a) - Trey Treadwell (Haymarket), 71-76-72--219

Pleasant Hughes, PGA (Chevy Chase, Md.), 69-75-75--219

(a) - Ben Campbell (Cleveland), 72-75-72--219

Justin Heimer (Leonardtown, Md.), 72-73-74--219

(a) - Roger Newsom (Virginia Beach), 75-72-73--220

(a) - Dylan Jensen (Ridgeway), 72-76-72--220

(a) - James Gallagher (Yorktown), 72-72-76--220

(a) - Scott Bemberis (Richmond), 70-77-73--220

(a) - Alec Kormanec (Vienna), 74-72-74--220

Cary Sciorra, PGA (Gainesville), 72-73-75--220

(a) - Sam Stilwell (Potomac Falls), 73-71-76--220

(a) - Thomas Garner (Richmond), 70-75-75--220

(a) - Matt Brantingham (Richmond), 75-73-73--221

(a) - John Dawson (Chesapeake), 73-74-74--221

(a) - Brian Hood (Stafford), 74-74-73--221

Tim Lewis, PGA (Hampton), 71-73-77--221

(a) - Buck Brittain (Tazewell), 74-73-75--222

(a) - Alex Sleeker (Richmond), 71-75-76--222

(a) - Jimmy Delp (Arlington), 68-71-83--222

Patrick Scheil (Williamsburg), 76-72-74--222

(a) - Alex Taylor (Roanoke), 72-75-75--222

Jimmy Flippen Jr., PGA (Danville), 71-74-77--222

Blake Brookman (Seaford), 78-70-74--222

(a) - Chase Duffy (Virginia Beach), 72-76-74--222

Kenny Clark, PGA (Colonial Heights), 73-74-76--223

(a) - Nick Schafer (Arlington), 73-73-77--223

(a) - Nick Tremps (Williamsburg), 73-72-78--223

(a) - Kevin Clarke (Midlothian), 75-73-75--223

(a) - Jack Wilkes (Roanoke), 74-74-76--224

Jay Lindell, PGA (Fairfax), 75-73-76--224

(a) - Andy Heye (Centreville), 69-78-78--225

(a) - Connor Walters (Salem), 74-72-79--225

(a) - Travis Benson (Herndon), 73-73-80--226

(a) - Jay Zapko (Glen Allen), 73-74-79--226

Paul Gooden, PGA (Harrisonburg), 75-73-78--226

Andrew Hardin, PGA (Chevy Chase, Md.), 77-71-78--226

Mike Morrone, PGA (Glen Allen), 71-77-80--228

Jeffrey Thomas, PGA (Lynchburg), 71-77-80--228

(a) - Keith Decker (Martinsville), 71-75-WD

MIDLOTHIAN -- Groupings and starting times for the final round of the 2013 State Open of Virginia at Independence Golf Club (7,026 yards, par 36-35--71) on Sunday, July 21.

(a) - denotes amateur

All Times EDT

-Sunday (July 21), hole No. 1-

7:30 a.m. - Justin Heimer (Leonardtown, Md.); (a) - Ryan Douglass (Leesburg); Pleasant Hughes, PGA (Chevy Chase, Md.)

7:40 a.m. - Ryan Zylstra (Glen Allen); Randolph Darden III, PGA (Radford); (a) - Jack Adkins (Martinsville)

7:50 a.m. - Yong Joo (Bristow); (a) - Ben Beach (Glen Allen); (a) - Matthew Brittain (Abingdon)

8 a.m. - Brendan McGrath, PGA (Centreville); (a) - Jon Hurst (Fredericksburg); Rick Schuller, PGA (Chester)

8:10 a.m. - Jon Corliss, PGA (Virginia Beach); (a) - Richard Hanna (Virginia Beach); Chip Sullivan, PGA (Salem)

8:20 a.m. - Mike Gooden, PGA (McGaheysville); (a) - Mikey Moyers (Stanardsville); Faber Jamerson, PGA (Appomattox)

8:30 a.m. - (a) - Ryan Patrick (Reston); John Francisco, PGA (Westminster, Md.); (a) - Weston Eklund (Charlottesville)

8:40 a.m. - (a) - Bryce Chalkley (Richmond); Steven Pierce (Centreville); (a) - Vincent Nadeau (Gordonsville)

8:50 a.m. - Michael Wade (Christiansburg); Adam Decker, PGA (Mechanicsville); Ricky Touma, PGA (Olney, Md.)

9 a.m. - (a) - Mark Lawrence Jr. (Richmond); (a) - Matthew Ball Jr. (Richmond); Patrick Hawkins, PGA (Richmond)

9:10 a.m. - John O'Leary, PGA (Reston); Robert Taylor, PGA (Zion Crossroads); (a) - Christopher Kapsak (Richmond)

9:20 a.m. - Ted Brown (Glen Allen); (a) - Ji Soo Park (Clifton); (a) - Scott Shingler (Haymarket)

9:30 a.m. - Jay Woodson (Richmond); (a) - Chris O'Neill (Glen Allen); Cameron Yancey (Blackstone)

-Sunday (July 21), hole No. 10-

7:30 a.m. - (a) - Trey Treadwell (Haymarket); (a) - Ben Campbell (Cleveland); (a) - Ashton Newsom (Chesapeake)

7:40 a.m. - (a) - Thomas Garner (Richmond); Cary Sciorra, PGA (Gainesville); (a) - Alec Kormanec (Vienna)

7:50 a.m. - (a) - James Gallagher (Yorktown); (a) - Sam Stilwell (Potomac Falls); (a) - Roger Newsom (Virginia Beach)

8 a.m. - (a) - Scott Bemberis (Richmond); (a) - Dylan Jensen (Ridgeway); Tim Lewis, PGA (Hampton)

8:10 a.m. - (a) - John Dawson (Chesapeake); (a) - Matt Brantingham (Richmond); (a) - Brian Hood (Stafford)

8:20 a.m. - Jimmy Flippen Jr., PGA (Danville); (a) - Alex Sleeker (Richmond); (a) - Alex Taylor (Roanoke)

8:30 a.m. - (a) - Buck Brittain (Tazewell); Blake Brookman (Seaford); (a) - Jimmy Delp (Arlington)

8:40 a.m. - Patrick Scheil (Williamsburg); (a) - Chase Duffy (Virginia Beach); (a) - Nick Tremps (Williamsburg)

8:50 a.m. - (a) - Nick Schafer (Arlington); Kenny Clark, PGA (Colonial Heights); (a) - Kevin Clarke (Midlothian)

9 a.m. - (a) - Jack Wilkes (Roanoke); Jay Lindell, PGA (Fairfax); (a) - Connor Walters (Salem)

9:10 a.m. - (a) - Andy Heye (Centreville); (a) - Travis Benson (Herndon); (a) - Jay Zapko (Glen Allen)

9:20 a.m. - Andrew Hardin, PGA (Chevy Chase, Md.); Paul Gooden, PGA (Harrisonburg)

9:30 a.m. - Mike Morrone, PGA (Glen Allen); Jeffrey Thomas, PGA (Lynchburg)