Gabe Null set the tone for his and Dr. Tom Budny's play during The Bull Run Shootout, an inaugural three-hole challenge at the conclusion of Thursday's events. Gabe's tee shot traveled 320 yards down the center of the fairway, and his team tapped in for the first of three consecutive pars.
The Bull Run Shootout split 12 teams into groups of six based on total handicap index. Each group would play alternate shot down their respective holes, eliminating three teams after Round One. The next round saw the advancing three teams from each group narrow to two. The final four teams then played Hole No. 18 for The Bull Run Shootout championship.
Group One - Round One (Hole No. 10)
Jason Walters led his team off the tee box with a 330-yard drive just short of the left bunkers short of the green on Hole No. 10. The other five teams found safe ground in the fairway.
Kevin Atkins made approximately a 35-foot birdie putt to clinch one of the three advancing spots in the competition. The remaining five teams finished with a par, setting up a blind chip-off to determine the other two teams.
Starting from the hill on the right side of the green, teams chipped to the lower left side of the green. Scott Barnhill and Ron Riley would finish the chip-off in two shots and advance to Hole No. 18. Mr. Walters and his teammate Morgan Hammond would finish with a 3, as did Sean Casey and Todd Nace. The tiebreaker would go to the team whose chip was closest to the hole, meaning Mr. Walters and Mr. Hammond would advance.
Group Two - Round One (Hole No. 18)
Group Two saw six teams play Hole No. 18, the conclusive par 5. Dr. Budny and Mr. Null easily advanced with a par. Justin and Clay Colley also advanced with a par. Peter Grant and Chuck Pullias advanced thanks to 20-foot putt from Mr. Grant.
Group One - Round Two (Hole No. 18)
Tee shots were critical in determining which two teams advanced to the final round. Jeff Reuter and Mr. Hammond were safely in play, but Mr. Riley's tee shot fell in the hazard.
Mr. Walters and Mr. Hammond would finish with a birdie, while Mr. Atkins and Mr. Reuter tapped in for par. Mr. Barnhill and Mr. Riley fought back from the penalty shot to make bogey but were eliminated from the competition.
Group Two - Round Two (Hole No. 10)
Similar to Group One, tee shots played a huge role in Round Two. Dr. Budny and Mr. Pullias each found safe haven in the fairway or light rough, but the Colley team hooked a tee shot out of bounds.
After the penalty shot, the Colleys would finish with a double bogey and were eliminated. Dr. Budny and Mr. Null finished with a par; Mr. Pullias tapped in to give his team a bogey.
The final four met on the tee box of Hole No. 18 with one chance to win The Bull Run Shootout. Three teams found the fairway while Dr. Budny's tee shot faded right into the rough.
Mr. Grant was left with a tough third shot after his team's ball settled just next to the cart path. Mr. Grant's approach would land in the bunker short of the green. Morgan Hammond also left his approach shot in the bunker.
Mr. Atkins and Dr. Budny each found the green on their respective approach shots. Facing approximately 30-foot putts each, both teams would two-putt to make par. Due to a 1/2 shot handicap, Dr. Budny and Mr. Null would finish with a score of 4 1/2.
Mr. Walters and Mr. Hammond failed to get up and down from the bunker and finished with a bogey. Mr. Pullias left his bunker shot on the fringe, giving Mr. Grant a 20-foot putt to make a par and, with a 1/2 shot handicap, tie Dr. Budny and Mr. Null. However, Mr. Grant's putt missed inches left.