Major Series of Putting returned to Las Vegas this week creating a one-of-a kind atmosphere for golfers from all walks of life. With a stadium designed and built just off the Strip, players came from around the world to compete and try to take home pro-style cash purses. The player field was full with golfers of all calibers - ranging from your everyday casual player to mini tour pros and celebrities including Fox Sports reporter and host Holly Sonders and World Long Driver Alex Phillips competing across four main events - Turbo One, Turbo Two, Stroke Play and Team - and 10 side events.
“The field is even more diverse this year than it has been in the past. We’re seeing players from all walks of life including professional golfers, to mini putt pros, to club pros and amateur golfers who all have a fierce competitive spirit,” said President & General Manager Guillaume Béland. “It’s the only event where we see double-digit handicappers competing at the same level as professional golfers. It’s truly a unique event for players at any level.”
The 2019 Championships hosted the first ever Ranking Race Showdown, where the top 20 ranked players from the Tour gained exclusive entry into an invitational event with a guaranteed purse. MSOP veteran Yves Desjardins made his entrance onto the green as the MSOP Tour Player Of The Year. Another veteran, Montreal native Mathieu Nieuwenhof came in hot leading after round one, however, MSOP rookie Mathieu Kennis lit up the course in the second round finishing at -10 and locking in the title of Ranking Race Showdown Champion.
Championship Week continued its excitement with the Turbo Singles One Championship. On top of the leaderboard after round one included an extremely diverse group of players including mini putt pros, casual golfers and mini tour players. Taylor Montgomery set the pace on the course, however, friend and fellow mini tour pro AJ McInerney was responding to every hole, eventually defeating Matthew Marquez in a three-hole playoff and securing a $12,500 check.
McInerney continued that momentum throughout the week partnering with Harry Hall for the Team Championship. Hall, a graduate from UNLV recently played his first European Tour event, finishing T15. The two grinded it out over two days to eventually secure first place and bring McInerney's total earnings to over $25,000.
“I had a blast out here, this is good practice trying to putt under pressure and you know, I actually missed the first stage of Q-school last week because I three putted the last hole,” said McInerney. “I just remember how nervous I was with that five-footer that I ended up missing and I mean you have that putt all day long out here. So it’s great preparation and great practice and I am just happy to harness those nerves and turn it into a positive.”
After being defeated in the playoff in Turbo One, Marquez came out with a vengeance. The crowd was ready for a show - with music, announcing and grandstand seating under the lights, the competitive spirit was more present than ever. Marquez had a birdie putt on hole #16 to move him to the top of the leaderboard and secure his title and a $12,500 check.
Montgomery, the 2017 $75,000 Stroke Play winner and 2018 $10,000 Team Championship winner was ready to roll for this year’s events. Arguably one of the best putters in the world right now, Montgomery competed in eight events throughout the week and finished with over $40,000 in winnings and the title of the Stroke Play Champion - once again.
“The MSOP Championships is one of my favorite times of the year, and it’s so great to see the field continuing to grow year over year,” said Montgomery. “The community they build through the Tour and the atmosphere at the Championships is like none other and it’s true when MSOP says anyone can compete and win here - we saw it this week.”
As the 2019 Championships come to an end, MSOP is already planning for the 2020 Tour season, looking to establish a presence in new markets, create more direct qualifiers and run several weekly putting leagues in key markets across North America.
“MSOP is changing the way golf is experienced. We have spent the last three years creating an environment and an atmosphere that is fun, challenging and ultimately rewarding for any type of golfer, said Beland. “2020 is going to be another big year for MSOP, we have all the tools in place to take MSOP to the next level.”