John Aman is a 13-year member of the exclusive Pete Dye Golf Club in Bridgeport. The 30-year-old Clarksburg native also is a three-time club champion at the course.

Aman knows, probably better than anyone, where danger lurks on the 7,308-yard layout. He knows all the shots it takes to escape the challenging Pete Dye with relatively low numbers. Aman shot a 3-under 69 last month in winning the club championship.

The question is where will all that knowledge get Aman when he tees it up against some of the best players in the world this week in the Nationwide Tour’s National Mining Association Pete Dye Classic?

If you ask Aman, not very far.

“I don’t think my course knowledge will have anything to do with me gaining one or two shots on the field,” said Aman, who played college golf at Fairmont State. “I just played a practice round with a couple of (Nationwide Tour) guys. They’re good enough to look at a hole and figure out where to hit it and where not to hit it.

“They can do their work on a course in a matter of an 18-hole practice round.”

The four-day, 72-hole Pete Dye Classic begins this morning with a field of 156 players, including five from West Virginia. All five Mountain State players, including Aman, received exemptions into the field. Of the five, only Aman is an amateur.

The others are Charleston’s Barry Evans; Morgantown’s Brad Westfall; Bakerton’s David Bradshaw; and Clendenin’s Todd Westfall.

Evans, the head pro at Berry Hills Country Club, played in the PGA Championship last week. Bradshaw is the defending West Virginia Open champ and Brad Westfall is a past winner of the Open. Todd Westfall, a Herbert Hoover graduate, plays on the Cleveland Golf Tour, a lower-level pro tour based in New England.

Aman, who also won the Pete Dye club championship in 2002 and ‘05, said his goal this week is to be around for all four rounds.

“I think my goal is to make the cut,” Aman said. “And to have fun and represent Pete Dye as well as possible.

“I’m definitely honored. It’s a great opportunity, especially living here in Harrison County and playing in a professional golf tournament right here in your backyard.”

Aman, who said he has shot a couple of 66s at Pete Dye in non-competitive situations, has been practicing “about every day” for the past three weeks.

“I’m happy with my game,” Aman said. “If I can keep my nerves under control and keep my confidence level up, I think everything will work out for the best.”

Aman said the biggest difference between him and players on the Nationwide Tour is the quality of their short game.

Aman is a long hitter off the tee but “they pick up distance on me with their irons.”

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