Peter Spiers of Goat Hill Park advances to MSOP Vegas finals
Putting under the lights at Goat Hill Park
Putting under the lights at Goat Hill Park

AmateurGolf.com ran our first-ever putting competition on Friday, November 18 at Oceanside's Goat Hill Park. It was a qualifier for the Major Series of Putting Amateur Championship, being played March 13, 2017.

With daylight savings long behind us, we decided to wait until after our Friday skins game was done, and run the qualifier under the lights. Everyone had a blast!

The first twosome of putters started in twilight, but the lights were needed pretty quickly. Everyone was already warmed up after playing skins -- it's a "mandatory golf Friday" tradition at "The Goat" -- so we all went off without trying the 6-hole layout. It became apparent quickly that we may have setup our course a tad too tough, as nobody but Michael Harding (1-under) could break the par of 12 the first go around.

Harding was even par standing on the final hole, a thirty foot putt straight downhill with the Pacific Ocean in the background. They don't call it Goat Hill for nothing; the chipping green we used for the course is no exception, and it was rolling quick. Miss the putt and the next stop could be the bunker down below. But Harding hit it dead center, then did his typical head-down walk towards the scoring table.

Nobody could touch 1-under until Goat Hill's Ops Manager Peter Spiers made a 5-foot comeback putt for a par two on that tricky final hole to finish his third attempt at 1-under, with the sky now pitch black and floodlights guiding players around.

Spiers and Harding competed in a 3-hole aggregate playoff for the final spot, with Spiers, a New Zealand native, surviving the final hole to punch his ticket to Vegas.

So, if you play Goat Hill Park this winter (if you live in, or visit San Diego you need to) and you see a big, burly guy working on his putting wish him luck in Las Vegas. He'll probably answer with something like "thanks mate."

For more information on the Major Series of Putting, and to find a qualifier near you, visit www.msop.com.

ABOUT THE MSOP Qualifier 1

On Friday, November 18, Goat Hill Park will host a qualifier for the Major Series of Putting in Las Vegas, under the lights after the skins game. (Arrive between 1:00 and 2:00pm if you want to play the skins.)

The Major Series of Putting is being contested on a specially- constructed stadium putting course right behind Planet Hollywood near the Las Vegas strip. There are five big money events in March, and an amateur version on March 13, which is what the winner of our putting contest will be playing for.

WHEN: Friday, November 18, right after the skins game

WHERE: Goat Hill Park Practice Green, under the lights

ENTRY FEE: $40 includes skins pot, greens fee, and entry into the putting competition. The winner gets a complimentary entry (value $350) into the March 13 event in Vegas.

GHP member Pete Wlodkowski from AmateurGolf.com will be there to run the qualifier. Play will be in twosomes. Replays will be allowed at $10, with all net proceeds going to Goat Hill Junior Golf Foundation.

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