Matt Finley Successfully Defends Putters Championship Title
30 Jul 2020 at 13:56 | Published by: PatPenguin | Views: 1947 | News search
Division Winners (Photo by Mossy Creek Mini Golf)
Tennessee - The 2nd Annual Putters Championship was held on Saturday, July 25, at Mossy Creek Mini Golf. The 30-player field competed in a stroke play competition over two rounds. 2019 Putters Champion, Matt Finley, was able to charge from four strokes behind in the second round to tie Micah Roberts with a two round total score of 78 (-8). Roberts' bogey on Hole 1, the fourth playoff hole, allowed Matt Finley to claim his second Putters Championship Cup.
Jennifer Finley's second round 40 (-3) edged out Jacki German in the Women's Division. Finley finished the two rounds at an even par 86. This is Jennifer Finley's second Putters Championship Women's title and she also improved on her 2019 score by five strokes.
Juniors Champion Landry Jarnigan, age 9, went 41, 47 to finish at 88 (+2). Landry only had one ace on the day but kept big numbers off his scorecard. Eli Janik, also 9, finished second in the Juniors Division with a total score of 90 (+4). Janik led all juniors with three aces (holes 13, 13 & 17). Both Jarnigan and Janik beat the previous two round record for Juniors of 99 (+13). The Juniors Division is for anyone 12 and under.
Kip Conner led the tournament by two strokes after the 1st round by posting the low round of the day of a 36. Conner was able to hold the lead until the 18th hole of the second round where a triple bogey 5 left him one shot out of the playoff. Conner finished his day tied with Kenny Jarnigan for third at 79 (-7).
Matt Finley's opening round featured four aces on holes 1, 6, 10 and 18. He also carded bogeys on holes 7 and 8 and picked up a triple bogey on the notorious hole 13 to finish his first round with a 40 (-3). Roberts relied on constant play throughout the first round carding a 39 (-4) which included one ace on hole 5.
The second round started off hot for Roberts who had a run of four aces (holes 2, 3, 4 and 5). However, he let the field back into the tournament by playing holes 7 through 10 at three over par. Roberts wasn't alone. Holes 7 through 10 played as the toughest four-hole stretch for the field averaging a score of 2.75 per hole. Finley finished the second round with eleven consecutive deuces only interrupted by an ace on hole 13. The 13th hole was the most aced hole on the day (10) but still played as the 5th hardest hole with a stroke average of 2.59. Finley and Roberts both bogeyed the 18th to go to a playoff.
The playoff format was the best combined score of holes 8, 17 & 18. If the players were still tied after the three holes, the players would start a sudden death playoff at hole 1. On both holes 8 and 17, Finley and Roberts both made good attempts at an ace and were left with routine deuce putts. Finley powered his ball past the 18th hole and left himself with a difficult downhill breaker. The putt burnt the edge of the cup and left him with a six-footer back up the hill. Finley made the putt for a bogey three. Roberts' tee shot was also long. He hit his deuce putt to firm and was left with an 8-footer to continue the playoff. Roberts had made a shot to save par from a similar spot earlier in the second round. He was able to convert from distance again and extended the playoff. Since the players were still tied after the three holes, the players would start a sudden death playoff at hole 1. Finley's tee shot left him with an easy tap in deuce. Roberts' tee shot left him another three-footer which he ran by the edge of the cup securing the victory for Matt Finley.
The next tournament hosted by Mossy Creek Mini Golf is the USPMGA Tennessee Pro Mini Golf Open on August 29, 2020. The Tennessee Pro Mini Golf Open has a $2000 purse played over six rounds. The top 16 players will qualify for the Smoky Mountain Match Play on August 30, 2020. To register Tennessee Pro Mini Golf Open go here.
Putters Championship Tournament Facts
Most Aces over two rounds: 5 Aces - Danny Baddeley, Matt Finley, Jonathan Gray and Micah Roberts
Longs Run: 4 Aces Kevin Cline (Holes 12, 13, 14 & 15) Micah Roberts (Holes 2, 3, 4 & 5)
Most Aced Holes: Hole 13 (10), Hole 5 (9), Holes 2 & 12 (7)
Holes Not Aced: Holes 7, 8, 9
Three Hardest Holes (stroke average): Hole 8 (3.16), Hole 10 (2.9), Hole 7 (2.84)
Thank you to Mossy Creek Mini Golf for providing this story.