The 20th Annual Invitational Shootout featured an expected battle of famous names. Two-time Champion Ray Shinkle and partner Mike Howley brought three wool jackets to the competition on Saturday and were among the favorites to capture the crown. Their toughest competiton featured the equally famous Les name, but a new entry into the upper echelon of Shootout competitors. This time it was Billy Les, not the legendary King George Les, and partner Rob Garcia, who would battle the Shinkle/Howley dream team in overtime on a saturated Saturday at Water’s Edge Golf Club.
Both Shinkle/Howley and Garcia/Les finished at -6 after 18 holes, necessitating the first playoff since 2008 when The Armstrongs defeated George Les and Dominic Dallio on the first hole in sudden death. With darkness looming, Rob Garcia made a 20-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to defeat Howley/Shinkle and capture the 20th Annual Invitational Shootout.
“I couldn’t be more proud of winning the 20th edition of such a special event” said Billy Les. “Rob and I battled the elements all day long by taking a positive approach. Everyone in the field was playing through the rainy and wet conditions, so we actually welcomed the tough circumstances. We weren’t going to quit and we kept hitting some good shots. It felt great to produce on a day like today under the bright lights of The Shootout.”
“The Les name means quality, and my partner Billy definitely produced a ‘Les quality’ performance today” said Rob Garcia. “King George is universially accepted as the greatest player in Shootout history. However, Billy is not far behind and could be the future of this great event. We had a great time out there today and are really looking forward to competing with George and Dom next year at The Invitational Shootout.”