The Associated Press
David Bradshaw shot his second straight 3-under-par 69 Thursday to open up a three-stroke lead entering the final round of the West Virginia Open at Parkersburg Country Club.
The six-time Open champion was tied at the top after Wednesday's first round with Ian Patrick. But while the birdies kept coming for Bradshaw in the second round, Patrick faltered. The Huntington amateur shot 5-over 77 to drop eight strokes back.
The day’s best round belonged to Bridgeport amateur Woody Woodward. A 5-under 67 put him alone in second place at 3 under. Woodward’s only other Open appearance came in 2011, when he finished 24th.
Hurricane amateur Sam O’Dell started on the back nine and made three birdies before a rollercoaster of two bogeys, a double bogey and two birdies. He was alone in third at 2 under after finishing with a 71.
Two-time Open champion John Ross, Vienna amateur Scott Bibbee and Morgantown pro Bob Friend were five shots behind Bradshaw at 1 under, and Charleston's Christian Brand was six back.
Five of Bradshaw’s eight birdies this week have come on par 5s. He birdied the 539-yard 10th hole to start his round Thursday and added another on the 515-yard 18th.
His second bogey of the week came on the par-3 second hole, and he finished with two more birdies on the par-5 sixth and short par-4 seventh holes.
Ten golfers broke par Thursday, compared with seven on Wednesday, and it's likely going to require just that to overtake Bradshaw, who has a streak of seven straight under-par rounds at the Open.
The mini-tour regular and Harpers Ferry native is looking for his seventh championship in 10 years. Only Sam Snead with 17 has more Open titles.
A year ago Bradshaw finished second, six strokes behind Jonathan Clark, who isn’t at the tournament this year. Clark and 2008 Open champion Barry Evans are competing in the PGA Professional National Championship next week in Sunriver, Ore.
Like Bradshaw, Woodward started his round on the back nine and he birdied the 10th and 18th holes. His only bogey came on the 608-yard 13th hole. Woodward got hot on his final nine holes, making four birdies in a five-hole stretch.