HOT SPRINGS, Ar. — Four average amateur golfers might shoot a scramble score that could impress Tiger Woods.
There were 44 such golfers on eleven teams entered Saturday in the 2022 Chili Bowl at Lakeside Country Golf Club. The format was a scramble, but not the kind of scramble most golfers are used to. Lakeside had balloons flying around the course and each hole was played backwards. Balloons designated a tee box area.
For example there was a red balloon flying near the No. 1 green. Participants teed up there and took aim at the flag stick on the ninth green. It was different every hole. Competitors were excited and eager to challenge the unique event.
Blake Angel’s chip wins Chili Bowl
When all was said and done there were two teams tied for first place in the first flight at 53. It was going to take a chip-off to determine the winners. Blake Angel settled the issue with his gap wedge. His 25-yard shot stopped three feet from the hole, and teammates Mike McArty, Bangor Leavitt and Billy Sparks celebrated their title.
Jeff Carls, Jason Ganz, Phillip Mahn and Matt Laper had to settle for second place, losing the chip-off by a foot.
“My teammates and I play at Lakeside every week,” said Angel. “Bangor was our low-handicapper, but we all contributed at one time or another. I thought Amy (Humphreys) and her staff did a great job preparing for this event.
Event compared to a par-3 tournament
“Scrambles are actually hard. This tournament today was really neat. It played like a par-3 event you might say. There were some long holes. It was a change and lots of fun. One of my teammates chipped in twice today, giving us twos where everybody else was getting three.”
The field was divided into two flights, with Mike Adams-Kiewiez, Skott Ostrus, John Wolf and Cody Dorsey making the cut with a 58.
Shot of the day went to Todd Austin. The first hole was playing 175 yards. Austin choked down on a 5-wood and hit his ball inches from the flagstick. The ball rolled down a slope, stopping six feet away. Austin putted first and drilled the center of the cup for birdie.
The golfers were treated to a chili meal after play. Everyone couldn’t win, but nobody went home hungry.