It was only fitting that the greatest player in tournament history would birdie the final hole to win the 25th edition of the Invitational Shootout. The putt George Les sank on the par five 4th hole, his 18th, elevated he and his partner, Paul Manolitsis, to a one-stroke victory at the 2018 Invitational Shootout at Water’s Edge Golf Club.
Heading to the 18th, Les and Manolitsis were tied with their playing partners, Tom Bonick and Rob Garcia, as well as 2016 Champions Mike Howley and Ray Shinkle. As tournament officials started to prepare for a sudden death playoff, Les calmly drained a 20-foot putt to end the tournament.
“I don’t have a great record in playoffs, so I knew we needed a birdie on the final hole” said George Les. “It feels great to birdie three of the final four holes to get this win in such an historic event. Paul hit some quality iron shots down the stretch to help us get some good looks at birdie. I’m very proud to become the first person to win the Shootout four times.”
“You’ve got to hand it to George” said 2004 Champion Joe Hill. “He finds a way to win when most guys are looking for a reason to lose. There’s a reason why he’s called “King George” and is the greatest player in the history of The Shootout. Nobody does it better.”
Les and Manolitsis shot 31 on the back nine to erase a four-stroke deficit heading to their 10th hole. The champions finished with a final score 8 under par, 64, which is the same score they posted in 2017.
“In my opinion, what makes George truly remarkable is his consistency” said Mick McDonnell. “Every year he either wins or finishes in the top five. He’s done it with Dominic Dallio and he’s doing it with Paul. No matter the situation, he competes and posts a great score. All hail King George!”
In addition to his tournament victory, Les also received the Invitational Shootout Lifetime Achievement Award. He became only the eighth man to receive the honor, which goes to individuals who have contributed to mission of the tournament.