Seven times in the last 10 years Bakerton native and Jefferson High graduate David Bradshaw has won the West Virginia Open golf championship. All that success places him second only to near-immortal PGA legend Sam Snead on the list of those winning the state's most distinguished tournament title.
Snead won the West Virginia Open no fewer than 17 times in a career that spanned over 45 years. He also still holds the PGA record for number of tournaments won, holding the second-place Tiger Woods at arms length.
Bradshaw won last year's Open title by four strokes, an unusual feat for him since he has taken three championships in playoffs and several others by one stroke.
After being on the same Jefferson High golf team with Josh Cenate and current Washington High golf coach, Rusty Staubs, Bradshaw played collegiately at Shepherd before entering the West Virginia Open as an amateur. He won an Open title as an amateur.
Now residing in Encinitas, California where he pursues a professional golf career away from the PGA tour, Bradshaw recently went to Canada in hopes of doing well enough in a PGA TOUR-Canada Qualifying tournament that he could earn a card for that country's summer-long tour.
After firing an opening round 65 at the event held in British Columbia, Bradshaw literally straddled the entire field when he came back the next day and carded a course record 62 at the Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community layout.
After two rounds, Bradshaw had an 11-stroke lead in an event that had only three rounds.
He coasted home through the final round and shot a 73 to win by eight shots. Bradshaw's winning score was 17-under par. An eagle on the first hole of the final day all but ensured the 31-year-old of the coveted tournament win.
The victory gave Bradshaw exempt status and earned him a PGA Tour-Canada card for the remainder of the 2014 schedule.
"This is my first time in Canada, and it's been a heck of an experience," said the long-hitter whose balky putter has often been the culprit in keeping him off the PGA tour in this country.
This year's West Virginia Open is also a three-round event and will be played next week (ending on July 25) at The Resort at Glade Springs in Daniels (Raleigh County). The Cobb Course at Glade Springs is long and said to favor long hitters like Bradshaw. But the first cut of rough will be inches higher than in past Opens staged at the opulent resort course near Beckley.
Over the past four years, Bradshaw has gone through Monday qualifiers and made the field in five PGA tournaments in this country. However, he failed to make the cut in any of those five events.
Among the numerous West Virginia Open championships claimed by the 6-foot, 170-pound Bradshaw have been ones played at this same course in Daniels.
The usual winner's share of the purse in the West Virginia Open has been just over $9,000, and those earnings have helped him stay in pursuit of a PGA tour exempt card in this country -- while still maintaining his residency in southern California.
And now Bradshaw can join the PGA TOUR-Canada events any time he wants to through the 2014 season.