Short Game Savant

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By James Millard

Short game wins championships, including recreational ones.

Members of the AJGA staff organized a Bunker, Pitch, and Putt competition for those playing in the FJ Invitational following round 1 of the event.  Involving three stages and over 30 participants, each person had to hit a golf ball out of a greenside bunker, over a greenside bunker, and attempt a coast-to-coast, 109-foot putt.

Scoring for the competition was done in the following manner:

· If a player’s ball was more than five feet away from the hole, his score was five feet

· If a player missed the green, his score was 10 feet

· If a player’s ball was five feet or less away from the hole, his distance from the hole was also his score

· The winner was the person with the least total distance after all three sections

Bunker shots were made especially difficult with a gallery of players, coaches, parents, and staff watching from a close distance. The crowd, however, proved to be a meaningless distraction after Michael Pisciotta, Tyler McDaniel, Jake McBride, and Matt Gilchrest all holed out from the sand, taking an early lead after the first station.

Tyler McDaniel of Manchester, Ky., was able to take control of his momentum, placing his final putt within three feet of the hole, close enough to secure the victory. With the win came a Scotty Cameron putter of his choice. Matt Gilchrest of Southlake, Texas, placed second and took home personalized MyJoys.

Pitch and Putt Competition (7)

Brad Dalke (pictured hitting) was one of 36 juniors who played in the Bunker, Pitch and Putt competition.

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